Do you stress over the amount of "friends" you have on facebook? Do you still reread your tweets and status over and over again after you have posted them up, contemplating how witty or funny they sound? Do you get upset because no one liked or commented on one of your posts?
I recently read an article in a magazine about the paranoia of social networking. It is a form of depression that the victims become insecure about themselves in everything they do or share with the social world. The above questions are some of the symptoms that the article mentioned. One of the sufferers in the article were convinced that her very good friend has started to defriend her because her friend wasn't replying to her message on facebook when in actual fact, the friend was simply busy. This self consciousness turns into a fear of acceptance because we know that people will critique and judge us based on what we put on our social media.
That's right, we now live in a society where it is the norm or even "socially acceptable" to critique on everything we see and hear, and do you realise that we never hesitate to do so? Even we ourselves know that we will be judged by others and we let it happen. After all what can we do, right?
Don't say you haven't looked at someone's 'myspace angles' profile picture and thought how try hard or pretentious they look. Yes you know the one, the one where the person takes a camera above their head and takes a photo of their eye (one), pout and chest.
Don't say you haven't watched Rebbecca Black's 'Friday' video and laughed at how stupid it is or cringing the song sounds. Even these kids do so, so naturally and innocently.
Don't say you haven't looked when Susan Boyle was first on stage and doubted her singing abilities.
Don't say you haven't looked at someone's outfit and judged their person.
|Too gay as well?|
Not judging someone is a hard thing to do, we subconsciously do it. I know many have said this before, but wouldn't the world be a nicer place if we can just try and not judge people? What people put in the cyber world creates an immediate response for us to perceive them in the way we see it. To us humans, we think that what we see is often what it is. This mindset makes us self conscious of how we project ourselves on social networking sites.
What is serious about this rising paranoia is that it can turn into a serious form of depression, which from what I've read, some sufferers were so depressed that they had to turn to psychiatric help. While this generation is so tuned in with every single social network and media, and most of us have several accounts to connect with this world, this social networking paranoia is something we cannot escape. We are constantly bombarded by social media, it consumes our lives. As you may know, we go on facebook more often than meeting our friends in person. We put our heart and soul into the things we post on social media, only to impress people, in order to create a good picture about ourselves.
When I finished reading that article, I thought, whew, lucky I don't have any of those signs and am no where like any of those victims suffering from this paranoia. I never used to really think about these sort of concerns and I do admit that I sometimes become anxious to see whether anyone has commented on my posts. More recently, I received a very weird and confusing comment on my social media status from a totally-non-familiar acquaintance. At first I started to question in the point and meaning of her comment, I have no clue what she is talking about, and the more I think the more sensitive I became. I started to get slightly stressed thinking that the only explanation of her comment was to be sarcastic to my status, which made me angry. Then I realised that I have already been pulled into this pool of social networking fear. No I wasn't concerned in loosing that person as a friend or how she sees me, in all honestly, I don't care. I was more concerned about the way my other friends might perceive me from her comment. Come to think of it now, why do I need to care at all?
At the end of the day, what cure can I offer you? None, because I am no professional on this matter. My thoughts are, try not to be so self conscious about everything, if you think the other person will defriend you or critique you then I don't think he or she is worthy of being your friend anyway. Think to yourself, as Srin mentioned in her post, who is the real judge behind everything anyway? My second suggestion is don't get so attached to these social media, perhaps removing the app from your smartphone might be a good start.
Disclaimer: This post is in no way targeting Rebecca Black's singing, Susan Boyle's looks and homosexuals. I am all for skinny jeans on men.