Social Media Achievements Are Not a Reflection of Real-Life Success
Real World > Online
In today’s world, it's not uncommon to hear stories of people glued to their phones, scrolling through social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook for hours...
These same people have timelines filled with smiles while their life is falling apart.
Social media is meant to connect, and free people from the constraints of physical proximity, yet it has become an addiction for many.
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As someone with a considerably more male community than female, I see how this affects those men caught in the trap. They have become obsessed with the attention and validation they get from their social media accounts and addicted to the feeling of having power by talking shit and politics, with that internet bravado leading to an altered definition of success and dominance as a man.
While social media addiction affects both men and women, I see men as being more likely to feel as though they need to constantly prove themselves to others. This leads to a never-ending cycle of validation-seeking behavior, where men are unsatisfied with what they have accomplished while pursuing faux-achievement and authority in an attempt to grow their image online, whether legitimate or not.
This constant need for validation and attention, with an ever-present desire to assert that “authority” has led to an altered definition of making it in men's eyes. Success was once defined by one’s accomplishments, career goals and achievements, and personal growth; now success is being measured by the number of followers, likes, and comments one receives on social media. Men with thousands of followers, getting hundreds of likes on their posts are viewed as successful, while those with fewer followers or less engagement are seen as less successful and ultimately not being as much of a man.
The achievements of those with smaller social media accounts are discarded by those in the electronic arena who are conveniently removed from any accountability, time obligation, or receipt of successful performance in front of others.
This skewed definition of success has led to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem for men who do not have a significant presence on social media. This environment where men must constantly prove themselves, competing with others in electronic argument and debate with every passing minute spent on the screen is toxic. This feeling of always having to prove one’s point and demand others respect their opinion bleeds into their world; the results can be devastating as life is more than binary numbers and anonymous usernames.
How can one appreciate their achievements and loved ones in real life, when they spend their entire day typing with anger and looking at the highlight reel of others?
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