We live in an age of connectedness but none of us is really “connected”.
Social media has brought us closer together, letting us communicate with those we normally would not be able to speak with. Through bringing together the globe, we are able to find our niche and communicate with those who share our similar interests.
However, why do we find ourselves seeking for validation off others? Why do we base our worth of “likes”? Is that what we have settled for, a virtual currency that we define our sense of worth off of?
We fail to find comfort in genuine human connection now, seeking instead to find a virtual connection. Real life communication has changed to “DM’s” and “tweets”. I am not saying these are bad, but rather understand that a balance must be made and if you find yourself clinging to each like, hoping to reach a certain number, it may be time to reflect.
If we examine the scene here on WordPress, it can become clear that individuals like and comment on posts in order to drive traffic over to their own blog, rather than connecting because they genuinely liked your post or have input they’d like to share. This, however, is common in the blogging scene and elsewhere in the media world, with bloggers leaving their links in others social media posts without any other input or with only the desire to receive traffic by hijacking someone elses posts.
By doing so, you are not connecting with others in a positive light, and without acknowledging it, you can be a part of the problem of the lack of connection between other individuals.
Listed below is a segment of an important article found on Huffington Post.
“The paradox effect in dating is creating the illusion of having more social engagement, social capital, and popularity, but masking one’s true persona. Since some are interfacing digitally more than physically it is much easier to emotionally manipulate others because they are reliant on what I call “Vanity Validation”. The one you portray on your networks and the true you, for some, creates a double consciousness.”
This is an important point to focus on; the aspect of a double consciousness. By creating these two personas, we are not able to be true to either one, rather we become a conjunction of either.
In the article, it also touches on the topic of a “highlight reel”.
“Since we’re only getting people’s highlight reels and comparing it to ourselves, it is natural to have reactions to what we’re watching.”
I believe that many people become obsessed with uploading the positives of their lives on social media, which normally gathers the most traffic. Individuals who see these posts will be more likely to compare their whole lives to these “segments” of other peoples lives rather than understanding that, just as the article states, it’s just a “highlight reel”.
On Time, an article that explores the correlation between posts and its effects, states, “A lot of us just kind of scroll through and see things passively,” Burke says. “We might not realize that we are internalizing it and that it can be affecting our attitudes about ourselves.”
It further this by stating “We should be careful about the way that we’re phrasing things,” she says. “We should be responsible posters and try to have a proactive, pro-health, positive message that makes people feel capable of engaging in these health behaviours.”
I believe this is an important post to focus on, to be a responsible poster who acknowledges that their uploads can and will affect their viewing base. By becoming proactive and pro-health, they will be able to influence their audience in a positive light.
By coming back to the premise of this post and by absorbing the messages laid out by both articles, hopefully, you as a reader can understand what your posting can do to others and why communicating with others in a positive way can benefit both parties.
As a final question, ask yourself, “what is a like to me and why do I need it?”