Our social media accounts serve as one of the best ways for us to communicate by sharing or exchanging our thoughts not only with our family members, friends, and colleagues but also with the world – thanks to the internet. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook give us updates on what is happening with our world through news and current affairs. They can give us information on food, health and medicine, Science and Technology, History, Geography, etc. We also get firsthand information from people who we look up to – movie actors and actresses, sports icons, singers, authors, and many others. However, let’s talk more about Facebook – this is where we do most of the intercommunication.
At least 80% of the people I know (including myself) are on Facebook. We check our news feeds almost every now and then, depending on our situation, needs, or free time. Based on my personal experience, observation and other people’s reactions, oftentimes the things we see are not that pleasing or entertaining. They are usually annoying and can make us unhappy. There is an enormous amount of posts that could bother us but let’s just focus on what we witness day in and day out.
Here are examples of what we commonly see in our news feeds:
- Selfies, habitual selfies that flood your screen
- New personal things like bags, shoes, smart phones, wrist watches, etc.
- Someone has bought a new car or is travelling anywhere they want to be
- Foods that people eat at a restaurant that are either expensive or cheap
- People who only posts everything about their kids’ achievements in school, sports, music and arts
- Pictures showing off someone’s muscles or physical abilities
- List of an individual’s workout routines, food they eat (diet)
- A video or picture of someone at the gym, particularly a mirror selfie
- A video of someone singing, dancing or playing any musical instrument
- People who pretend to be tough by commenting harsh and unkind words in a public post
- People who portray a godly character by posting bible verses when in fact they are really not what they show they are
- Posts that are ranting about the government and politics or a person’s anger and annoyance with something or someone
- People who just share and post anything they see on their home page
Some of the examples given aim to give entertainment or show our friends and family members (who we don’t see everyday) what is happening in our daily lives. However, they tend to show narcissism, pride, boldness, pretension, negativity towards things, and self-centeredness. The question is, how and why do we judge people based on what see from their posts? Some answers are obvious, some are not.
- Studies reveal that too much selfie or self-portrait photo is directly linked to narcissism. Why would you even take hundreds of pictures of yourself and post them on social media if they only show your face? What else would you want people to see? It’s all your face! What’s so special with it? Alright, you’re pretty, you’re handsome – so what?
- Pride is normal but it also gets misunderstood by our Facebook friends who are our audience. Just be careful with your words and your typical topic.
- Boldness is what people have when they are just being themselves. It is a product of happiness, confidence, and contentment with someone’s life or situation, no matter how easy or hard it is.
- We say that someone is pretending if we know them personally – we know how they treat other people – or what they have in life in terms of material things they can buy or afford.
- What do we say about negativity? Of course, we are just human beings, we are never perfect. Who doesn’t get angry, irritated, upset or aggravated? Only something that doesn’t have life. But don’t make your social media account your live update of your emotional or physical malady. Although, sometimes it could help you get sympathy (if that is what you really need) from your friends and relatives it still doesn’t mean that you can endlessly post your negativity on any situation. Moreover, if you really think that the government will notice you and change their regulation, think again.
- Don’t be self-centered. If you believe that everything that you post or share will help everyone, you’re wrong. You will only flood their news feeds. You don’t have to share everything that you think is informative or interesting all the time. Just hit the like button or comment on that public post, your friends will see them too.
What do you feel when you get likes or positive comments?
It is such a great feeling that your friends and family members ‘like’ and leave a ‘comment’ on your posts. You feel accepted, appreciated, valued, recognized, and even respected. Now, find these words’ antonyms as I ask you what happens if your post (that you consider special) gets ignored. In this modern world that we are living in, social media has become an online representation of ourselves.
Why do we get annoyed?
We assume that the examples given are annoying and can make us feel jealous or skeptical. In my previous article, “Is Criticism A Good Thing?” I have mentioned the reasons why we judge or criticize people.
We have our own reasons for posting such things. In fact, if we think of the past, back in the day when we didn’t have anything powered by technology or the internet, it seems like we did the same thing. We talked to our friends about anything. We wrote letters to our loved ones. We shared anything that happened to us including, of course, the things that we are proud of. We took pictures, printed them, and showed them to our family members and friends. You don’t want to look bad in your picture, do you? Nothing has changed that much – if there is, that would be in how we claim our freedom of expression, that it becomes abused and we don’t care about our virtual community which is directly connected to reality. The main difference here is that what we show our loved ones can also be seen by other people anywhere in the world, depending on your post’s privacy settings. Think about it, whether inside Facebook or not, not all the people you consider friends are really your friends. What more is it if they are just your online friends? They don’t know you well, so they would misunderstand you most of the time. What makes those posts (that has no intention of offending others) annoying is that we – who are only someone’s virtual friend – see the things that should only be shown to the people who personally know them.
Here’s a quote from Francis Collins: “God gave us free will, and we may choose to exercise it in ways that end up hurting other people.” We were given free will since the day that we were born. Let’s choose the best option and live a happy life. Sometimes we just need to consider the outcome of our actions. We just have to thoroughly think of how our actions may affect other people and especially our “online community”.