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1 Thought a Week

We’re so Connected that it Hurts

social media hurts

We don’t know what we want anymore.

We’ve gone so deep into the whirlpool of social networking that we’ve lost touch with who we really are.

We’ve now compared ourselves to too many people, that we have turned into anchor-less boats in the middle of the ocean. Swaying with the random waves, with no sense of direction, and feeling desperately lonely.

That is because we live in a World that constantly reminds us of who we are not, that we have lost touch with who we actually really are.

This is the new World of social media, that aims to “connect you with friends and the World around you”

But we have long achieved this aim and have now progressed to the next challenge, “showcasing your success to the World around you”.

Our social media activity now consists of crafting the perfect Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn profile descriptions and posts just so we can prove to the World that we are in fact “enough”.

But no matter how much success we achieve and showcase, we have become irritated when someone else has achieved a “little more” than we did, and showcased it to the World.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely okay for success to be celebrated, and it’s only natural that there will always be people of higher rank in various fields. However, the concern lies in the bombardment of unhealthy social networking behavior that has become a norm on all these social media platforms (LinkedIn included).

We have now become so addicted to showcasing our prominent titles, statuses, and wealth only because we’re constantly being exposed to this unhealthy behavior by others. And when we can’t reach our greater expectations, it only hurts our mental health even more.

Metrics like “followers”, “likes”, and “shares” have become things we can’t live without, just like the air we breathe. Possessions like fancy cars and big houses have become benchmarks for a successful life, and we will force ourselves into high interest mortgage loans just so we can claim and showcase these things to be ours.

We have now become so addicted to showcasing our prominent titles, statuses, and wealth only because we’re constantly being exposed to this unhealthy behavior.

Where has all of this come from? From the device you’re holding right now.

We open up our social networking apps and are instantly flooded with pictures and videos of random people having “the time of their life”.

Picture yourself sitting on your couch after an exhausting day at work. You pick up your phone and open your favorite social media app, and in a matter of 60 seconds, you will see the following:

[Random couples expressing exaggerated love for each other, parents showcasing their flock of adorable cute little kids, people flashing their luxury houses, “influencers” driving sports cars or promoting their expensive yet low quality make up products, and random people showing off things, stuff, relationships, and lifestyles that seem virtually impossible for you to achieve]

And then, “Tap“. You exit your social media app and slowly put your phone back on the table. You blink your eyes a couple of times and feel a little uneasy in your stomach, you shake it off by opening up Netflix. All this has just happened in a matter of 60 seconds or less.

Whether it directly affected you or not, your mind just absorbed some pretty dangerous information.

Yes, dangerous information. Social media is packed with some seriously dangerous information that will hurt your mental health in the long run if you’re not careful.

“Social media is packed with some seriously dangerous information that will hurt your mental health in the long run if you’re not careful.”

For you probably saw something that you wished you had (eg. that ideal relationship, that beautiful house, that level of fame etc), and all those things made you just a little unhappy in just 60 seconds. But hey, it’s just a little, no big deal, right?

Before you know it, day by day, month by month, those little social media sessions have gifted you a special gift – quite an unhappy life. An unhappy life constantly reminding you that someone else in the World is having it much better than you are (which in fact is not true).

That ideal relationship you saw is probably toxic when the camera turned off, perhaps the owner of that fancy house is severely stressed for the remaining mortgage he needs to pay for his property, and that “influencer” is probably suffering from not having genuine connections with real people.

I strongly believe that every social media session should be followed by a mini mental health check-up. A check-up that ensures you weren’t negatively affected by what you just saw. A checkup that should be followed with gratitude for all the beautiful things you have in your life right now, because all those people you just saw may not have what you have.

“Every social media session should be followed by a mini mental health check-up.”

You see, decades ago people had little to no information of how other people outside their social circles lived their daily life, all they had in their network were friends (actual friends) and family. I truly believe the average person 50 years ago has lived a much happier life than the average person today.

Why? Because there was much less reference to what a happy lifestyle looked like back then. There was no technology that allowed rural kids from Colombia to peek into the daily lifestyle of rich kids living in Hong Kong. There was no device that allowed a struggling single woman to view thousands of videos of couples around the world showing off their perfect relationship (relationships that in reality have some serious issues that need to be fixed…).

Less exposure to other peoples’ lives allows more room to get creative and actually build an authentic happy lifestyle – a lifestyle especially designed for no one but you. A happy lifestyle that is based on “your” specific needs, your current resources, and your current circumstances.

Less exposure to other peoples’ lives allows more room to get creative and actually build an authentic happy lifestyle – especially designed for no one but you.”

A life with less exposure to other peoples’ daily lives leaves zero to little room for envy and greed.

A life with less exposure to other peoples’ personal lives will give us more room to cultivate our own personal lives.

A life with less exposure to other peoples’ “time of their life” will give us more energy to cherish each moment, minute, hour, and each year of our life.

Stay connected to the World, but never forget to stay deeply connected to yourself. Let the only “like” that matters be how you like yourself, let the only “comment” that matters be your own comment about yourself, and let the only “share” that matters be what good you can share with the World, outside of social media.

Much love <3

-Ahmed

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