How social media is affecting our lives
How social media is ruining your life
This book essay is written based on the book Why social media is ruining your life, Katherine Ormerod, 2018.
I read the book because I have been lately quite interested in social media marketing and also wanted to take a look of the disadvantage caused by social media. After reading this book I have been thinking social media in whole new way. Now I have been focusing lately to how I am using social media and how it is affecting me and my everyday life. For example, sometimes when I look at Instagram I feel very bad about myself and how I look because I am comparing myself to these Instagram models and their perfect pictures. This book opened my eyes for this phenomenon that many especially young girls are suffering to. I have been focusing more in real life and forget about pressures that Instagram is giving me. For instance, I am trying to use social media less these days than I used to do.
Social media is generic term for the social networking platforms on the internet. In other words, it is site or app where you can be in touch with other people. The most popular social medias at least in Finland are Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp. Instagram is photo sharing platform where you can follow your friends or other interesting accounts and also upload your own photos. Term “instagrammable” which is also used in the book several times (Ormerod 2018, 42), means that something is so good looking that you want to take photo of it and post it on Instagram. Facebook is also a platform where you add friends and you can share photos, thoughts and messages with them. It’s not that popular anymore amongst young people. Snapchat is photo message app where mostly young people are having conversations with their friends over photos. WhatsApp for instance is mainly for sending messages to your close ones.
Social media is big part of our everyday life. These things have come into existence while my generation has been growing up, so it is quite new world to discover for the researchers. With this in mind we can state that our generation is using social media very much but haven’t had any induction about its dangers. We all remember the lessons from elementary school where teacher told that you have to be careful with things you put online. But in these days, we are sharing our whole life on Instagram and no one really understand how it is harming us and our development. On the other hand, there are quite many good things on social media and it is giving me joy in my everyday life, but we really need to remember the disadvantage it is causing.
According to book (Ormerod 2018, 40) the main problem with social media is that people are showing the best sides of their lives there and other people especially young generations are having wrong image of life from influencers. Many times, the pictures are edited and have a lot of filters. Also, younger audience in Instagram do not always get the point that influencers are getting paid of posting things. It is their job so their using most of their time in it. For example, when young kids see images of expensive clothes or luxurious holidays they start comparing their life to influencers life even though they might be like ten years younger than influencer and living in different part of world.
In reality many of us have their own digital identity. I think this is really accurate because I can recognize this in my own behaviour. I am mainly posting photos of myself and good things in my life. Likewise, photos of me at holidays or eating at nice restaurants. I’m really travelling a lot and I enjoy eating outside. However, it is not the whole truth. That’s the main point why everyone else’s life might seem better and interesting in social media than your own and it can make people really anxious. Best ways to beat the anxiety social media is causing is to unfollow all the accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. Also limiting your screen time is good idea if social media is causing bad feelings in you. (Ormerod 2018, 112.)
As we might notice social media is affecting on our behaviour in many different ways. For example, millennials thoughts about money has changed remarkably in last years. According direct line survey of 18-34 years old revealed that 20 per cent of millennials said that there is no point owning nice things if you can’t show them to other people. (Ormerod 2018,177.) Overall, millennials are using much more money for nice things rather than saving it for example for their own apartment. Probably it might have something to do with showing off in social media, but it also might be just their way of life and the fact that our generation is having so different values than our parents. I agree on the fact that in this phase of my life I want to spend my money on nice things like travelling instead of having babies and buying my own place to stay. Certainly, I will do it in some phase but just not now.
Briefly, I could say that social media can really ruin your life if you don’t know how to handle it. For me social media is also tool in my work and something I can enjoy in my free time and mostly I really enjoy using it. After reading this book I am going to remember that if social media starts ever upsetting me again I need to take some free time from it. It’s good place to be in touch with your friends and also great tool for finding new ones. You just need to remember that you are much more than just your Instagram account. Don’t ever let your social media define who you are or what you do in your life.
Why social media is ruining your life, Katherine Ormerod, 2018.