Social media has become an integral part of the lives of most people, both young and adults. What began as a way of connecting with friends and family soon became a platform to indulge in narcissism and vanity. Facebook, one of the most popular social media domains, provides a platform to express oneself through the virtual world and feed one’s self- esteem. But the problem with it is that it fails to represent reality as it is and becomes merely a mirage to reality.
The real purpose behind Facebook when it was first envisioned was to provide a platform to connect with friends. It became easier to stay in touch with friends and other acquaintances you could not meet regularly. Gradually, it expanded to become a photo and video sharing platform where you could share your personal moments and experiences with your friends and relatives and get instant appreciation/ comment/ feedback on them. This added a whole new dimension to people’s lives, as for the first time, people could appreciate the other person and give a fillip to the self- esteem of that person.
FB likes= High self- confidence
The number of likes you get on Facebook, at least temporarily, boosts your confidence in yourself. You might be having a bad day in reality but once you log on to FB and see so many people liking your photos and videos and appreciating them, you do feel good for the moment and it does boost up your self- worth. This is because all human beings crave (or like) attention and appreciation from their peers.
Mirages are unreal
However, FB likes are nothing but mirages. They are unreal shadows of your real life. They present an unreal and unfair picture before you. People who like your pictures may not actually think highly of you in real life, or they may have ulterior motives in liking your pictures or comments. You may wrongly consider such people as your friends and this may shroud your judgement. On the other hand, you may start taking yourself too seriously and start doing things to appeal to your FB community. In such cases, FB likes do nothing more than give a false sense of worth to an individual.
Virtual world vs Real world
It is important to keep the distinction between virtual world and real world in mind. The virtual world can never replace the real world as life exists in the real world, whereas the virtual world is only an imitation of reality. Therefore, whatever happens in the virtual world should not be taken seriously. You should not perceive yourself through the likes/ comments of people whose opinions are flippant and random. Instead, value the people you actually meet regularly in your real lives. It is their opinions that should matter to you, as they know you more intimately than the crowd on your FB friend list.
Facebook is at best a platform to stay in touch with people you can’t meet on a regular basis. It should not be taken too seriously as ultimately, it is a part of the virtual world, and presents only a distorted picture.
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