Ten years ago, Mashable officially declared June 30th as World’s Social Media Day to recognize the impact the internet community has brought in our lives.
Facebook has been around since 2004 and today, connects billions of people. On top of that, we also have Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and other social networking sites that show us moments from countries thousands of miles away. Technology brought the impossible just decades ago. We can send instant messages and get replies in seconds or listen to our favorite songs without depending on the radio. We can even see our loved ones face-to-face even if they’re based in another continent!
Social media indeed changed the way we communicate but, on another hand, it also led us to compare ourselves with other people. As we celebrate Social Media Day, we should keep in mind the following reminders.
1. Don’t compare yourself with models and influencers.
Our news feeds are always full of holidays, selfies, and OOTDs. It’s no wonder that we always feel insecure about our lives in comparison with other people. However, we should keep in mind that most photos posted online are either filtered or carefully curated. Most influencers use filters and makeup before they share anything with the public. Thus, we should never compare our daily lives with their highlights – especially if these perceptions are based on their social media.
2. Don’t forget to double-check news sources.
Many blog posts are considered news by readers especially if those articles have been shared thousands of times. Most of us already came across satire pieces, where there are claims about the world’s end every other week or that dolphins were returning to the canals of Italy during the lockdown period. Stories like these can be problematic if they make the majority of people believe them. Thus, before we share anything online, we have to verify the information and think before we click.
3. Don’t listen to all the advice you read.
There are many relationship and career advice online. Although good, we should remember that our lives are not patterned the same way. What works for other people might not work on our circumstances. Therefore, we should try to reflect and ask what we want to do before heeding advice from strangers on the internet. Most of the time, the answers we seek are already within ourselves.
4. Don’t believe everything you see.
Everything can be edited nowadays. We can edit our faces, bodies, and backgrounds. Photos and videos can be manipulated to the point that we don’t even know which is the original. Videos shared without the right context can be misinterpreted and can cause a lot of violent reactions. Thus, we should be wary of what we see online. Just because there’s a lot of comments and shares doesn’t mean it’s worth our time and attention.
5. Don’t spend too much time online.
Social media is great because it connects us to strangers and loved ones from afar. But we shouldn’t also forget to communicate to those who are with us. People nowadays are already glued to their phones even during dinner time. Whenever there are get-togethers, instead of spending time talking with each other, we prefer to whip out our phones and post an IG story. We want to connect to those who are not with us and most of the time, it disconnects from those who are already with us.
Social media is great and it has brought a lot of possibilities. However, it’s important to remember that what we share online is just a small portion of who we are. We are more than our likes and shares and most importantly, there’s more to life than what we see online.