You know a happening night when you see one on Instagram, the morning after, with a dozen odd pictures put up as #aboutlastnight.
In the era of social media at its hormonal best, there’s literally no escaping anything. If it has happened, it’s up online. An earthquake, you say? Check for updates on Twitter. India’s cricket match with Australia? Live scores are available. A wedding happened? Putting up photographs on Facebook is now a part of the rituals. And if you’ve happened to miss any of it, then clearly, you’re not happening enough.
Basically, social media dictates our lives and ironically, we’re both master and slave. We’ll take more than enough time to perfect a selfie and once it’s up, we’ll sit in anticipation, hoping for it to get ‘liked’ enough. We’ll put forth our opinions on all possible platforms unabashedly and yet, hope for them to resonate with our audience.
One moment, we’re one person and the very next, we’re somebody else.
For a generation that takes great pride in being the most authentic version of who they are, thanks to social media, aren’t we all living alternate lives?
When you’re shuffling between multiple apps, it’s easy to lose track of who you are!
Even though social media has made us more adept at being social, it’s also made us vulnerable human beings. We’re no longer confident in our space, comfortable in our own skin. Suddenly, we’re craving validation, seeking perfection (or, the filtered version of it on Instagram) and constantly trying to keep up.
Evading FOMO is almost our alternate career and chronicling our daily lives on social media, part of our daily to-do lists.
Amidst all of this, haven’t we somehow become more than one person? There’s the one who’s busy with work, family and friends. And there’s the other, the one we project on social media.
The one who’s traveling to exotic locations, eating gourmet cuisine, partying like there’s no tomorrow and next morning, going for yoga, looking as prim as ever.
With social media, comes a blatant urge to pretend.
In our hectic work routines, most of us don’t really have much of a life. We go from one pay slip to another, one weekend at a time. Yes, some of us do actually jet-set around the world and some of us have that coveted six-pack but for a majority of us, life is not so exciting. Certainly not as exciting as we’d like it to be.
However, social media allows us to live vicariously through other people. As you scroll through Instagram, carefully analyzing someone’s Insta-feed, it’s easy to lose track of time. Furthermore, it’s easier to feel jealous, anxious and downright lame in comparison. And it is then that the seed of leading dual lives is planted in our minds.
Since social media allows us to carefully curate what we put out, why not put out the best possible things, even if that isn’t our reality? Because who cares about the truth when you’ve got a timeline to fill!
We’re more than happy to pretend to be a different person online.
In the age of social media, ‘be yourself’ is nothing but a cliche.
Why bother showing your real self to people when you can present a better, more filtered one instead? It’s like choosing between a samosa and caviar. While the former may be your de-facto go-to, sitting at a fine-dining restaurant, you’re obviously going to order the latter!
We’re all guilty of this dual-lives syndrome. We’re living both online and offline, oftentimes simultaneously. Sitting at a restaurant, hanging out with friends, on a holiday or even, lazing in bed at home.
Barring our business in our bathrooms and bedrooms, it’s never that we’re not two people. The one actually in the moment and the one busy capturing it. Come to think about it, even bedrooms and bathrooms aren’t safe confines anymore.
Shuttling between our offline and online avatars, have we forgotten who we really are?
It’s not uncommon to find people glued to their mobile phones, no matter where they are. It could be any social gathering but the only socializing we seem to be interested in is the kind that happens on social media.
Going for a party is more about putting up #ootd posts, arriving somewhere is more about ‘checking-in’ on Facebook and having fun with friends basically means clicking a picture that can go up on Instagram the next day.
We may be present offline but aren’t we really living online?
What is our real self? The one at a party or the one posting about it?
Who said we’re just one person? There’s a second person right inside our smartphones. And sadly, he’s the one we’d rather show the world!