Social Media Lifestyle
If we look at our daily routine, we will be surprised to see the amount of time we usually spend connected to our mobiles. And what do we do most of the time? Is it office work, or something very important? The answer is most of the time we are scrolling through our feeds in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or one of the new channels like Vero, Helo, or Connected.
Have we realised why we spend so much time hooked to these social media channels? To find the answer, we need to go back in time. Our life is not what it used to be
8-10 years ago. The family structure has changed. Previously, joint families were the norm where we shared our home not only with our parents and siblings but also with our grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. We seldom felt the need to interact with outsiders, and we were too busy within our own home. It was more like a community living with one head of the family. But gradually, the concept of joint family started losing its value, and nuclear family became the order of the day. This was also precisely the time when social media platforms made their debut in our lives.
Since joint families became a thing of the past, we also lost our support system. Earlier, when any member of a family faced a problem, others stood like a rock behind him/her and gave moral support. This gave a lot of strength and assurance to that person. They knew that whatever happens, the family will always be there to take care. Once family size shrunk, so was the support system. Now, people started looking for that support in the world of social media. Facebook friends replaced the real friends, and online chats and messages replaced the real life interactions that earlier took place in the school canteen, playgrounds and just anywhere.
Soon other platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter came, and it became a virtual race among youngsters to make their presence on these digital apps. Previously they used to exchange messages, and photographs on Facebook, but now they can upload their videos too. Meanwhile, TikTok came and took the entire social media by storm with its concept of short video of 30 seconds. It became a frenzied race among users about who can upload a more interesting video. To attract more users, the owners of such channels also introduced monetary rewards. This further increased the popularity of these channels.
The affordable models of smartphones and easy availability of internet data packs also aided the spread of social media among predominantly rural areas. An entire generation came under the spell of social media. This had a huge effect on their day-to-day lives. It became a ritual for users to check their social media feed first thing in the morning. They found their icons on Instagram and Facebook. They followed their lifestyle in minute detail. They bought products that were endorsed by the celebrities they followed. They imitated their icons’ speaking and dressing style.
Social media channels too realised that they need to come out with new features to keep those millions of users remaining loyal to them. They introduced filters, highlighters and edit options on their apps to enhance the picture quality. Users just went crazy and became even more addicted to these channels.
Social media is useful in many ways, but addiction to anything is not good, and the same is true of social media. To get the best out of it, it’s important for millions of users to make a balance between their real life and the virtual life that they lead on these social channels.