When Social Media struck it was unfathomable to foresee its success. For an idea or invention to be a success there must be an existing need or void it is catering to or filling. Social Media instantly caught on as it was catering to one of our most basic human needs – the need to socialize.
The Changing Face of Entertainment
We all have our vices. One of my guilty pleasures is watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians!“. I know, I know you judge me. But it is entertaining, the drama, the glamorous lifestyle definitely make for some mindless TV time. As I watch the K clan strut around in the best designer wear carrying their Hermes bags and what not, I often wonder who is Kim Kardashian? What is the Kardashian’s claim to fame? Normally it is an accomplishment that makes a person famous, but in this case the phenomenon of becoming famous has worked in the reverse, and it is this that amazes me. How do you sustain yourself simply on self-promotion?
To some extent we all do live in a superficial world. It all boils down to publicity and marketing. It is true that if you repeat something often enough, whether it is true or not, people will start believing in it or at least get interested in it. Kim is a social media queen constantly trying to grab eye balls. Her latest attempt at “breaking the internet” was with her cover shoot for Paper magazine. The pictures may be ghastly for some, but she got what she wanted: another day in the sun.
Has Social Media Turned Us All Into Mini Celebs?
Social Media plays an enormously positive role in boosting connections and creating accessibility. Social Media connects us as it bridges gaps of time and geography. As it takes self- expression beyond known boundaries, it has today become a widely used business and marketing tool. In their years of existence, Facebook and other Social Networks have constantly adapted to their followers needs, becoming more and more versatile in their use and impact.
Having a profile on a Social Network suddenly gives you a perceived greater or exaggerated sense of being, a tiny slice of the limelight. However, fortunately or unfortunately what appears seldom is and vice versa. If you think about it, one of Social Media’s main premises rests on insecurity; an insecurity that stems from the human need for acceptance by peers, validation by society and vindication against competitors. It would not be false to say that our biggest weakness is a Social Network’s greatest strength.
Drawing The Line
Psychological studies have found that excessive exposure to social media can lead to an inferiority complex for some. Everything that your mind is exposed to leaves an impression on it, big or small. Sometimes I envy those who are able to take the plunge and close a FB account at the cost of not being wished by long lost friends on a birthday or at the risk of not knowing who is vacationing where or some such. But it is hard for anyone to stay isolated from Social Media – what with even Mr. Narendra Modi clicking selfies!
Taking the good with the bad, I continue to enjoy being a part of this virtual society that helps us share our lives with others, and am glad to see social media transform into something more substantive as a purveyor of opinions and medium of expression. But a line must be drawn somewhere. It is so easy to get lost in the world of the web. Your virtual existence shouldn’t be eating into your actual existence. It is important to rise beyond your virtual profile, after all you do not want to be the person who is in the news simply for being in the news. Stay happy. Stay true.
How did social media change your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.