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Social media has connected people from across the globe and has brought information to our fingertips. Social media has revolutionised how we stay connected to our friends and loved ones. Social media has provided jobs and careers to many people and has changed the way we entertain ourselves. But does social media have its downsides? Having seen the rise in social media before my eyes there are many things that have infuriated me.
Social media has brought about its own set of problems and I will share with you seven things that I hate about it. As always, these are just my opinions of what ‘winds me up the pole’ and if you feel different, please feel free to disagree in a kind manner.
Following and unfollowing
You would think that if someone followed you on social media, that they wanted to see your content and what you have to offer your tiny corner of the internet. This was a naive mistake on my behalf, oh how wrong I was.
When I started blogging I was keen to build my Instagram following and was delighted that people started to follow me and I eagerly followed them back out of courtesy. I was disappointed that my numbers did not appear to be increasing and wondered why.
As a member of many blogging groups on Facebook, I soon discovered that there are apps that let you track your followers on your social media profiles. These apps were a revelation and made me realise that there was an ulterior motive to people following me.
I discovered that people following me were instantly unfollowing me once I followed them back. At first, I thought ‘maybe it is just a few people’ but I gradually learnt that most of the people following me were trying to hook me into following them only to unfollow me just hours or days after it. I find this such a dishonest practice and I would never follow people unless I wanted to see their content. This, in my opinion, is not the right way to gain followers and would rather have fewer followers than get them dishonourable.
Selfishness and megalomania
I do not know whether this is amplifying what happens in society at present, but I feel like a large proportion of social media post show people as selfish beings. I am constantly seeing rude, self-serving behaviour, especially on Facebook. Maybe the concept of social media enables individuals to feed their inner megalomaniac.
As a blogger, you might be thinking of me as being hypocritical in this opinion. My blog is inherently about myself and that alone can encourage megalomaniac tendencies; I do, after all, promote myself, my lifestyle and my views. However, there are ways to self-promote and stay humble at the same time and I try to strike that balance.
Being a member of many blogging groups I always see selfishness in action; people link dropping on threads without reciprocating and following the thread rules, following and unfollowing and people asking for advice only for it to land on deaf ears as people serve their own needs.
I have seen this in play many times within the makeup community; people acting self-entitled just because they have thousands of followers or they run a makeup group. I have heard of people who admin makeup groups makeup shaming and acting as if they are Coco Chanel without considering the impact upon others. This, in my opinion, is pure self-service in action; bringing others down in order to inflate your own sense of self-importance.
I must confess that I myself have been drawn into the selfish side of social media; I have judged others in the past and felt somewhat ‘entitled’ to likes and comments on the makeup looks I had posted. This is a thing that I absolutely hate about myself and it has usually happened when my confidence has been low.
You can never escape them on social media and I understand completely why companies do them but they are just everywhere. I get tagged in competitions and I do partake in a few but I feel like they are so oversubscribed that the chances of winning are non-existent.
I also dislike the competitions that make you comment a specific saying like ‘win’. I do not dislike them for having to comment but I hate how people respond. The rule says simply post the word ‘win’ but people insist on writing a hundred-word essay on why they feel like they deserve to win. Why would people waste their time recounting how they deserve this win when it is drawn randomly and no amount of begging will change that. This, for me, feeds into the self-serving ‘entitled’ behaviour that I spoke about above.
I also hate the way social media creates competition within the community through likes and follows. People will judge their own self-worth on how many people ‘like’ their pictures. I once remember getting upset when I posted a picture on a makeup group and got no likes while others had hundreds. I am always feeling the need to compete; to get the highest numbers, the most likes and for people to validate my work over others. This is the reason I do not take part in makeup competitions anymore as it was destroying my confidence in my own ability.
Lies and manipulation
This is the thing I most dislike about social media; the fact it is used to deceive others and defraud them. I have seen many an individual be ‘exposed’ for dishonest dealings; from selling fake products, lying about receiving products and getting money back only to post about them days later, to dishonest go fund collections and fake accounts.
You cannot truly know what is real and what is fake and some people take advantage of that. I have seen people lie and mislead people into thinking that they are an honourable and trustworthy person and then six months down the line people find out that it was all an illusion. The person that has been mistreated loses trust in humanity and will often not extend their kindness again through fear of being used. I have been a victim of this in the past and fallen for peoples ‘cries for help’ only to later find out that they are not as desperate as they once made out. I am definitely more guarded and reluctant to extend my kindness to people now through fear of being duped.
The overuse of terms like ‘catfish’
This is a more frivolous reason I dislike social media. As someone who frequents makeup groups, I hear the term ‘catfish’ used regularly. People will post before and after makeup pictures with the phrase ‘I am such a catfish’ or words to that effect. I am well aware of the power of makeup and how it can transform you, but it does not make you a catfish.
The term catfish relates to people creating false identities on social media to trick or defraud others and is trolling. The nature of catfishing is to present a false identity not a false reality and they are two different concepts. People who catfish use false pictures, false information and false beliefs to trick others. I do not believe putting on makeup and having your hair done presents a false identity; it may be a false reality if you do it for social media purposes but haven’t we all pretended to know something when in fact we did not?
I understand how makeup can make someone feel like a different person, but you are still the same person, just with the enhancement of makeup. I feel like people that use the term catfish when talking about their before and after makeup pictures fail to see their own beauty; it is still you and you are beautiful with or without makeup.
This is perhaps the worst thing about social media; you will make comparisons between yourself and others and this can lead to negativity. With social media being a dominant force in our society it is hard for people not to judge themselves based on what other people present on their profiles.
If you looked at my Instagram, you might think I am continually adorned with fabulous eyeshadow and a sharp wing and my skin is flawless. This is an illusion that I have chosen to present, not through the use of filters, like some people might do, but through good lighting, the right amount of makeup and a hundred different pictures at different angles. I will take roughly twenty pictures of a makeup look and make sure that I use the best lighting in the house.
I do not feel like these are lies on my part, I just choose to show myself at my best angle with a makeup look that compliments me and makes me feel good. What people do not see is that I am still in my pyjamas, I have taken over an hour to create that makeup look and the most glamorous thing I have to do that day is to take my children to a play centre.
Currently, I am in a state that I would not publish on social media; I have scruffy, lounge clothes on, I have no makeup on and I have a huge spot on my chin. I currently resemble a tired zombie of the apocalypse with a messy ‘mum bun’ and fluffy slippers. I look at other bloggers and think ‘I bet they always look that good’ but then I remember we are all human and what we post on social media is often the ‘best bits’.
How addictive it is
When asked what do you do when you first wake up, I replied ‘check my phone’. This answer prompted someone at work to call me sad and they are absolutely right. Social media has well and truly hooked its grubby little claws into me and made me obsessed.
I joke that my phone is often glued to my hands and this is partly to do with social media; I have made many friends through the Facebook makeup community and I love keeping in touch with them. Also as someone who blogs, social media is a necessity to the growth of my blog so I spend many evenings parked on the sofa watching TV with Mr T while tweeting and participating in blogging growth threads. I am aware that if I do not do this, my blog will suffer and so the addiction is justified to a certain extent.
I hate that I am so addicted to social media as I feel like I sometimes miss out on things going on around me because I have my head buried in my phone. I am also ashamed to say that I would not have a prolonged social media break as I always fear I will miss something; I wish I had more willpower but maybe that is a goal for another time.
A huge pinch of salt will help
When you are surrounded by social media, it can often engross you and alter your thinking; lowering your self-esteem and sense of worth in the world. I hear so many people talk about themselves negatively and comparing themselves to others and often social media feeds that sense of insecurity. I understand that we are driven, human beings and always strive for doing our best; but often when you achieve your best, you are not happy because another person or milestone comes along. I feel that this cycle is reinforced through the use of social media and a huge step back needs to be taken on occasions.
What you see on social media is not the full story; behind the smile, there may be sadness and insecurity just like you. People prefer hiding it rather than admitting that they are not perfect, as that is seen as a sign of weakness. My advice when dealing with social media is to insert a big, huge pinch of salt and remember that what you see on your screen is not always the full story.
What do you think about social media; let me know in the comments? I would love to hear your opinion on these things, even if you disagree with me, let’s have a healthy debate on the topic in the comments.
Ciao for now beauties xx