Social media has helped to enhance how we stay in touch with other people and stay up-to-date with the important moments in their lives. Special events, daily occurrences and other random bits of information are shared by individuals on social media every day which enables people to see what occurs in the lives of the people they know. However, while social media has allowed us to connect with one another in an unprecedented fashion, it has also been responsible for the creation of “false narratives” that causes people to develop anxiety, depression and even suicidal tendencies due to how they perceive their lives in comparison to the lives of their friends.
The concept of a false narrative is based on how people only post positive or exciting events on their social media page and neglect to post any sad or difficult situations. As a result, their Facebook or Twitter accounts contain nothing but “highlights” (i.e. good events) which make some people who have to work hard and struggle to achieve some semblance of financial normalcy wonder what they are doing wrong with their lives. Inevitably, this causes them to be depressed, develop anxiety and start to question their success as an individual. Such an issue is compounded by multiple people doing the same thing resulting in a literal inundation of false narratives. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
This problem originates from the desire of individuals to put their best foot forward with how they present themselves to their “audience” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media, in effect, has caused people to develop a streak of vanity wherein they tend to develop the notion that how they are percieved online is just as important as how people look at them in real life. This helps to explain the widespread attitude of taking “selfies” and why people want to take photos of their food before they eat it (Pounders, Kowalczyk, and Stowers 1888). They want to show that they are living extraordinary lives instead of the ordinary existence they likely have. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
However, as mentioned earlier, this attitude of “oversharing” is not necessarily a bad thing since it acts as a source of information that people would otherwise not have been able to access. The location of interesting places to eat, different tourist spots and other sites of interest are shared on social media every day which allows a person to know about the world around them and plan their own trip in the future. In fact, the decline of the tour book industry is often blamed on the rise of social media as more people share their experiences online to their friends and family thereby making a written guidebook obsolete.
Overall, while it is unlikely that the current practice of spreading false narratives will be resolved, one way in which the resulting depression and anxiety connected to this practice is resolved is by adding a disclaimer at the bottom of every collection of photos. Social media sites can place a discrete disclaimer that states that what they see online may not necessarily reflect on the entirety of that person’s life. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
By putting this small disclaimer under every collection of photos, this would help people to slowly realize that what they are seeing is not indicative of how their friend actually lives their life and that it is nothing more than a highlight that fails to reflect the hard work, effort, and problems they experienced prior to taking a vacation or eating an expensive meal. Through such a practice, this would help to address how people look at social media and how they think about their own life.
Pounders, Kathrynn, Christine M. Kowalczyk, and Kirsten Stowers. “Insight Into The Motivation Of Selfie Postings: Impression Management And Self-Esteem.” European Journal Of Marketing50.9/10 (2016): 1879-1892. Print