“Let me check the likes I have got on my post!”

This thought is one of the top contenders to use up a large part of the 20 percent of total energy our brain consumes.

We all want to be liked. The dopamine hits which we get with every like on our post on any social media platform make us feel on top of the world. The more likes we get, the more our self-worth increases. It makes us feel good when most of our friends update their status to wish us on our birthday. This gesture makes us feel how important we are in their lives.

Unfortunately, all of the above is just a deception.

When dopamine’s effect wither’s off and the harsh reality of life strikes us again, we feel cheated. We feel as if our good feelings have been taken away from us. Our so-called friends, who liked our posts seem to ignore us in the real world. From my personal experience, one explanation for such behavior can be that such people do what they do out of compulsion. As friends, we are socially expected to appreciate each other or we can be judged as being jealous. Another explanation is that soon after life’s reality strikes us again, we feel more insecure because then we are forced to handle our real feeling which we hide from the world. We don’t want our new admirers to lose interest in us and we want them to like our post in return for us liking theirs’s.

In the long run, our flawed use of social media is affecting and will continue to affect our personalities and will only increase the following:

  1. Stress

We all have a long to-do list, the places to visit, the skills to be learned, the goals to be achieved, it all takes time and consistent effort. In this hyperconnected world, with every accomplishment post we see, we tend to forget that behind every achievement there is always the power of compounding. We are tricked into believing that achieving anything worthwhile is easy. On the contrary, it takes dedication and a lot of effort. We start expecting our efforts to pay off in no time. Life’s reality kicks in very soon. This adds to our stress.

2. Losing our individuality

We often run the mad race of getting more social recognition and often look for opportunities that can, on the face of it, guarantee that recognition. Oftentimes, we see people showcasing their talents and achievements on social media platforms. Instead of trying to assess our talents and interests, we try to imitate those people. We, unknowingly, compare ourselves with others but we must realize that we all are different, our experiences are different and hence our perspective is unique.

3. Living a fake life

It’s surprising how far we go to be socially acceptable. We are always looking to expand our connections and friends which is completely fine. Problems start to arise when we change our behaviors and attitudes just to please someone. This again has a lot to do with the growing insecurity among us. We must understand that our values and attitude need to be cultivated in the right manner. It’s just not worth pleasing people.

The whole intention of this article is not to disregard the benefits of social media, it’s just that it must be used with utmost care and a bit of detachment. We must be aware of these invisible forces that are slowly but surely shaping our lives.

We can agree to disagree but I would love to hear what you have to say.