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Social Media’s Deception That, Unfortunately, Many Have Bought Into

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Social media isn't good, and neither is it bad. It simply takes the character of the user. Click To Tweet

It’s been said over and over again that social media is a scam. Well, maybe it depends on the angle from which you are looking. Because let’s face it, social media isn’t good, and neither is it bad. It simply takes the character of the user.

Social media has opened up our society to different possibilities in terms of businesses and careers. From business advertisements; to influencers making money through brands; to online shops, it’s an ocean of possibilities.

Beyond the e-commerce perspective, people can connect worldwide with just a click of a button. But like all things, it also has its disadvantages. Today, let’s shine a spotlight on the dark side of social media. It’s deception. The masks it has inspired many to hide behind.

Many of us have subconsciously sunk in the allure of social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and even LinkedIn have peddled a very queer notion of the perfect person, job, and life in general.

From the perfect body; to vacation destinations; to schools, and jobs; some people always seem to have it all. Everyone is doing something. And not just anything. They are making boss moves: signing deals, traveling the world, getting the best jobs, inventing stuff, getting fully-funded scholarships, and starting families. The list is endless. And then, there’s you and me. No matter how hard we try, we are always a few steps behind.

Because everyone is making it in life on social media, many of us have succumbed to the pressure to catch up. To be seen that we are equally conquering the world. In reality, we are in our small ways. But who wants small? Go big or go home! And so, this pressure has birthed depression, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and anxiety; just to mention a few.

Fakeness versus reality

A recent scandal on social media revealed the ugly truth about what we project out there. One Brigit Achieng, a Kenyan socialite whose nude video (sharing someone’s nude is never cool) went viral, taught us that perhaps we shouldn’t take everything on social media at face value.

Intrigued by such incidents, I dug deeper to find out how exactly one can completely change their physical appearance when posting on social media. And just like magic, I pumped on Facetune. This is the ultimate editing app— a gold mine for celebrities, influencers, models, and anyone who has been struggling to get the “perfect body”. From round perky butt; to flat tummy; to wide chest; to abs, you can have it all in a click of a button.

While followers are working out day and night, denying themselves food to look like Instagram influencers, the influencers are “living their best lives”. They show us a journey traveled, where they come back with a perfectly formed body which a good number of them will claim results from a diet fad, diet pills, or supplements which they are marketing. You can take the health tips but at the back of your mind, remember, this is business. Their health tips are, more often than not, an absolute scam. Their perfectly formed bodies are products of Facetune and a tone of makeup. A click on the reshape button, and you have an hourglass figure. And just like that, you are sold a pup. You can play around with other features to get whiter teeth, flawless even skin tone, brighter eyes, and so on. Nothing is impossible.

There are also those who’ve spent millions in plastic surgery to get plump breasts, high cheekbones, curvy figures, etcetera. Botox is equally doing wonders where wrinkles are concerned.

The pressure is mounting fast, and God help us all

I recently came across a post on LinkedIn where a lady was lamenting her troubles and mounting pressure every time she walked the social media streets. Someone is graduating, someone is getting a promotion, and others are getting jobs. She wondered what was wrong with her as she seemed stuck in an unending loop of job search. Of course, people came through in the comment section encouraging her to keep pushing.

What bothered her, really, was not the fact that she didn’t have a job. It was the fact that she felt left behind in a world where everyone seemed to succeed at an exponential rate. It could be that she felt she was getting late.

There are also scenarios where people struggling to show the world they are eating life with a big spoon have resorted to vices that will destroy their lives in the long run. Talk of young women rolling around with sugar daddies from Cape town to Dubai; to the Maldives. Young men are getting into shady deals to get rich fast. Oh, we are a world that has lost its head.

Then there are others who will pose next to vehicles that are not theirs, and houses they don’t own, much less rent. There is another group that will lift pictures from Pinterest to show their new diet regimen. And lastly, we have those who’ve literally photoshopped themselves beside the prominent figures. Sometimes they have dinner in Paris and lunch in New York. The list goes on and on, shamelessly, infinitely. All these leave me wondering, what exactly are we suffering from?

Be authentic. Authentic is rare, and need I say, unique

Why are people going to such great lengths to show what they are not? Yes, the public will validate you. But, how will our validation change your reality? Though riches are great, and this we can’t dispute, there is more to life than riches. If you want something, you have to work for it. There’s nothing that comes for free. The pressure to have a particular body or do things a certain way or achieve something at a particular age is just but societal expectations that you don’t have to lose yourself to achieve. Do yourself a favour. Don’t lose yourself for the fleeting.

There is no competition, and you are obliged to avoid the competition trap. And if you are competing with anyone on social or offline, there are high chances you don’t know your purpose. Don’t get caught up in the rat race, trying to impress people you know nothing about. #BeAuthentic #BeYou #DoYou.

Also read: Are You Hearing the Full Story? Why the Instant Success Narrative Is a Lie

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