As I scroll through my Instagram feed I can’t help but notice similar patterns appearing. Mainly people(particularly females) posting relentless selfies. It dawns on me then that Instagram was just a place for people to feel as if they are important as if a hundred million other people haven’t posted the same type of picture. I see nothing but pretty girl amassing tens of thousands sometimes million of followers for nothing other than being pretty. By the luck of a genetic lottery, you can have thousands of people all over the world follow and take an interest in your daily life.
It becomes as if some people live their lives for social media. Going on trips just to brag about where they went later on facebook. Going out to fancy restaurants just to take a picture of their meal. Posting how depressed they are to gain sympathy from their virtual friends. It becomes quite disgusting in many aspects. This has become such big business that people literally make a living from posting on social media. Companies will penny out a lot of many for kylie Jenner seventy million Instagram followers. So it becomes profitable for her to endlessly post pictures of the “glorious life” she lives, her famous friends, extravagant parties, trips to far away getaways, all make her extra richer.
Social media has become a place to feed upon essential human needs, first is to gossip and second is to satiate the feeling of boredom. We as human are naturally nosey and want to know what our neighbors are doing so we scroll through their news feed, pry into their photos, and see what friends we share. Second, in this passive digital time, we are constantly seeking an avenue to pass time by. As Heidegger pointed out boredom is the acknowledgment that time is passing, if your job is unstimulating you have your phone and scroll through Instagram. But is social media the best way to learn from each other or the most constructive use of our free time? The answer to both these questions is probably no!
According to recent studies, prolong use of social media increases your chances of depression. Why is this? Because people feel their lives are inadequate compared to others they see on Instagram and facebook. But what they don’t realize is that people don’t show the “nitty gritty” side of their lives on facebook(unless of course to gain sympathy from a depressing post). People generally curate their lives on the internet.
I wonder constantly if people do this just to feel good about themselves. Those Brittany post a photo of herself in a bikini just to gain appraisal from her followers? Does John post about his recent promotion to gain flags of congratulations? These internet celebrities essentially do nothing but indirectly brag about how much better their lives are compared to everyone else, and people just passively feed into this virtual game of appraisement
I myself use social media and do fall trap to everything I bare onto this post. I have at times taken a hiatus from facebook and have generally felt much better for it. I only use Facebook or Instagram as a way to promote any of my endeavors. This being said there are legitimate benefits to social media, whether it be promoting a product or service, getting an important message out, or keeping in touch with far-away friends and relatives. The question is what are you using it for?
You make quite a Marxist argument for social media in that how it is used determines the worthiness of those platforms. As his fellow German Oswald Spengler noted this could be the end of western civilization.