LOSING YOURSELF ON SOCIAL MEDIA

March 6, 2019 0 By Priyanut W.

Background:

We are living in social media for a while since the start of Web 2.0 in 2004 when Facebook was born. Web 2.0 is a platform for information sharing, user-centered design and allows users to have collaboration and interact with each other which we can call it “User Generated Content” or “UGC” meaning we not only can comment, share, likes the content but also create the content by ourselves while in the previous concept of the internet was Web 1.0 where user can only consume the content without any interaction or collaboration at all, kind of passive user concept.

Fig. 1. The Minitab Design Process

This is what the user-centered design looks like. An easy way to explain this is the company will design their product based on what is their target audience wanted, the company care much more about their users. The research can be done by using various kind of research methods which tend to be varied in each company.

The examples of Web 2.0 are…

Seems familiar? Yes, it’s Facebook as a very good example of the Web 2.0 as you can see in the comment section that it has got some certain kind of feelings in those comments “Dang you riding nice” and “My car is even better LOL” isn’t it the case that a person who comments in this photo feels jealous or wanted to bluff him? And it didn’t take that long for them to comment just one tap and off they go.

This is mobile social networking app that allowed you to like and comment on one’s photo(s) and also sharing your video or photos (this is what we called “user-generated content”) with its monthly active users over 1 billion users and 72% of the users are teens. It is “Instagram” or in short, we called “IG”

Well then..how do you feel after you see his and her online content?

We just admitted that we have some certain kind of feelings, namely, jealous and those feelings are inevitable. Seeing her wearing such an expensive fur coat shopping in the Big Apple town with over 2 million likes in just 6 days of posting her photos and her caption says “yesterday i was in NY and today im in Singapore tomorrow i’ll be in Korea” seems like traveling a lot and everywhere she goes seem to be a wonderful place, isn’t it?

As Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian philosopher said

Gif. 1.

In the sense of contemporary, social media is also the extension of ourselves to reach out to world with social media, distance and time are no longer the obstacles to us whether how we would feel or react or feels towards one person or a group is very direct as the sender have put their content online it is published already, whatever the sender intention or encoding is the viewers or the audiences will interpret or decoding it in many different ways.

Here is Stuart Hall, a British-Jamaican sociologist, the model of communication.

Case study:

  • One of our group member, anonymous, got depression from consuming too much on IG.

Interview : I used to be the person who really likes to surfing on Instagram. I have been using it for almost 8 years. Instagram was my life back then. Addicted, I could say.

Instagram is changing all the time, not just the application, but also the people on that platform. They start to seek for more like more follower, more famous. People start to consuming it as a social value that everyone is grasping for it. Form just for entertaining, for uploading some beautiful photos, and for any good memories. It turns out that people use Instagram as the place to boast how extravaganza they are, how wealth, and how rich they are. It feels bad sometimes, that we can’t have what others have. And If we don’t have, we just feel we going to lose all the time. And when all these feeling is overwhelming, I can’t hold it as well. I start to feel losing myself more, ever since many of my habits had changed. I start the feel useless, and never good enough. In my mind always worry about what others think about me. And, finally, I can’t hold it any longer, thus I decided to meet the therapist.

Getting Caught by a Catfish

What is ‘Catfish’?

A ‘Catfish’ is a person who creates a fake online identity and pretends to be someone they’re not. Most people might only upload the pictures of ourselves we like best, or we only post about the great stuff going on in our lives and don’t mention the bad stuff. We usually post the best version of ourselves. This isn’t the same as pretending to be a completely different person, which is what a catfish does.

Catfishing is deception. He or she will use someone else’s photos, use fake personal details such as height, weight, age, ethnicity, education, work, etc. and conceal themselves.

The most reasons people catfish is they don’t feel confident in who they really are, so they pretend they’re someone else. People catfish for romantic relationships such as online dating websites and cell phone dating apps, and also to find friendships and other forms of social contact. If they start falling in love with the person they’ve started an online relationship with, they’re scared to reveal themselves. They might have low self-esteem and build a fictitious online personal to interact with people.          

The explaination why people have this kind of behavior?

It began in the social animal such as the chimpanzees, The analysts found that male chimpanzees will indicate quality and bring uncommon natural fruits. For example, papaya and pineapple to flaunt female monkeys. Demonstrating their gifts and rich status.

The male who shows and partitions the most organic products will get consideration and care from females more than others.

These models are clear proof that ‘flourishing’ has occurred not only in the online networking period. From the behaviours that the chimpanzees have shown us that these kinds of behaviour might be imperative and helpful. Moreover, it installed in the minds of social animals

When having the competition in the group, it makes the caste division system naturally. Comparison of behaviour. We call in our society ‘social class division’

Social status and amount of happiness are considered as important information that humans use to compare and judge that we are standing at a good point or at a low point compared to people in the same society. Moreover, posting photos or statuses on social media could be the way of communicating to those around to recognize that the image owner stands in the high point of society.

The human brain is also interpreted happiness occurs when a person has a good life, has much money or standing in a good position in society

People love to compare

It is normal to compare yourself to other people. And always want to know that we are better or lesser. It is also normal that we want to be better than others. Comparison, sometimes, can encourage us to improve ourselves, but sometimes, the comparison can make us feel weaker as well. This kind of feeling can often happen when comparing ourselves to people who are better than us, especially to those people who have something that we never have, or not enough, and when we think that they are our competitor. We even compare ourselves with our good old day.


How to really love yourself in the Social Media Era

1. Remember that people only post the best of the best to their profiles.

Many people spend a lot of time taking and editing the best photo before posting on Instagram or Facebook. But remember these photos are a snapshot. So they are the only pieces of their lives.

2. Look at Social Media Less

This might be challenging for us to stop scrolling down through our feeds causing the fear of missing out the information. However, these addictive behaviours will prevent us from productive abilities and relaxing time. We need to take a break on the online world and focus on the real world. Only allow yourselves a couple minutes to check them.

3. Stop worrying about follower counts

You cannot compare your beginning to the middle paths of the others specifically the influencers or those who have a thousand followers. The countless followers can come from various ways such as location or when you start your social media. Also, neglect the unfollowing, your life doesn’t depend on the numbers of people following you. Just enjoy being part of the social media world.

4. Take everything lightly

Simply check the news feeds and inspiring information. But do not compare them to yourself. You can also make the vision, inspired broad or note to help you ground your thoughts and feelings.

References:

Phillips, J. 2018-04-10. What is User-centered Design and Why is it important?. http://blog.minitab.com/blog/what-is-user-centered-design-and-why-is-it-important

Catfishing. n.d. What is Catfishing?  FindLaw.com, a part of Thompson Reuters. https://consumer.findlaw.com/online-scams/what-is-catfishing.html

McNulty, J. & Powers, B. 2014-07-22. 23 of the most spoiled, obnoxious, out-of-touch rich kids to ever post on Facebook. https://www.someecards.com/news/so-that-happened/23-of-the-most-spoiled-rich-kids-to-ever-post-something-on-facebook/

Aslamm, S. 2019-01-06. Instagram by the numbers: Stats, Demographic & Fun Facts. https://www.omnicoreagency.com/instagram-statistics/

Brey, P. 2000-00-00.’Technology as Extension of Human Faculties.’ Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Technology.
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Zongpatanayothin, C. 2016-10-09. ทำไมเราชอบอวดชีวิตในโซเชียล?. The Momentum. https://themomentum.co/happy-self-help-socialmedia-show/

Uneanong, S. 2003-12-15. บทความด้านสุขภาพจิต: โรคชอบเปรียบเทียบ. Department of Mental Health. https://www.dmh.go.th/news/view.asp?id=534

Holland, E. 2015-00-00. Why We Compare Ourselves to Others on Social Media and How to Stop. https://tinybuddha.com/blog/why-compare-others-social-media-how-to-stop/

Jackie. 2017-06-02. How to Really Love Yourself in the Age of Social Media. Instinctively en Vogue. https://instinctivelyenvogue.com/2017/06/02/how-to-really-love-yourself-in-the-age-of-social-media/