I’ve said it before – I love social media, especially Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I am active on most social media and I really enjoy it. I’ve voiced my concerns and fears about these media on here before, but lately I’ve been feeling a little down about the whole “let’s live online” movement. Here’s why.
I’ve written a blogpost before about why I love and fear social media. I still believe in that. I have been researching online communication for over four years now and I’m so intrigued by it. I love the opportunites online media provide – but I also find it extremely sad sometimes. Here are five reasons why.
People who post content online usually do so to get attention. This can be in the form of likes, shares, comments or retweets. Or to get people to read your blogposts (as I’m doing). No matter what you are promoting: you want people’s attention. What makes me sad is seeing people post a photo and then delete it later because it “didn’t get enough likes”. Or people asking me to “like their photo”. For the record: I have never done that. What’s the point? Don’t you want people to like your content because they actually enjoy it? Why else would you post it? I find this trend – posting content just for likes – very saddening.
2. It’s all the same
Unfortunately, the online world has many copycats. People see someone being successful with a certain photo, or other content, and they want in. There are so many of the same blogs, blogposts, contests, YouTube videos, Instagram photos, stories, Snapchats… I find it very, very sad. I don’t know if it’s because I have a blog and spend a lot of time online, or because it’s just getting too crowded. It seems everyone is doing the same thing and there’s no originality in online content anymore.
3. It’s fake
I’ve said this before – social media is not real life. So much of what people post online is either heavily edited or just a complete lie. I also catch myself scanning a photo I’ve made to be sure it’s ‘pretty enough’. I spent this weekend editing my food photos and felt a little annoyed that they were so dark. I actually spent a full hour feeling bad about that. ABOUT A FREAKING PHOTO. And then I feel bad about myself. What has happened to the world? Why can’t I just post a photo as it is? Well, because it doesn’t work that way – my delicious vegan recipes won’t stand out on Instagram if they’re not pretty. That’s the sad truth.
4. Offline life is less important
This is something I feel worse and worse about. When I was in Rome, I literally had to fight my way through the selfie sticks and cameras at the Colosseum to get a picture of the view. EVERYONE was taking selfies. They weren’t looking around anymore, or enjoying the beautiful Italian sun, NO they were taking pictures of it. Preferably with themselves in them. There is nothing sadder to me than realizing people can’t seem to enjoy the beauty in life anymore if it’s not through a lens. And life just isn’t as beautiful through a camera screen. An example: I am scared of flying so I like to film the take-off and landing. It seems less real that way and it keeps me calm. So when I see something beautiful and immediately think: I need to take a photo of that, I am enoying that moment a little less. It’s so sad!
5. It adds very little to my life
When I am having a very dark day, social media wise, and start thinking about how it’s made my life better I can’t come up with too many reasons. I love the connectivity, and the social aspect of it. I am going to a vegan dinner tonight that I heard about via Facebook and this happens quite often. So I love that, but these events don’t happen every day. Yet, I spend several hours daily on my social media channels and I am practically glued to my phone. I just charged my camera because I can’t go to a vegan dinner without it. The question is: would I enjoy it more with or without my camera? I am leaning towards without – but I can’t bring myself to leave it at home. I am a blogger after all. Nevertheless – these are important things to think about. Life is meant to be lived – not photographed!