Social media is an integral part of our lives. Actually, I take that understatement back. It is an inseparable part of our lives. We use social media for various reasons; to stay in touch with friends and family, to build an online presence, to access news, or just for fun. What’s great is that there are many different social media outlets to cater towards these different needs and purposes.
Social media can play many roles for us TCKs. We may use it to see what our friends from the other side of the world are doing, to share photos from your recent trip to southeast Asia, or to build connections wherever you are.
However, as much as I would like to go on about how great social media is, I must also bring light upon the downside. While social media can be fun, it can also lead to FOMO (short for ‘Fear Of Missing Out’) and unreasonable comparison. Today, I wanted to talk about social media and how it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Scroll down to read more:
Team Best Friend
The world has noticeably become a smaller place, thanks to social media. Social media has helped individuals connect without being physically close. I first opened up my eyes to the world of social media in high school when I lived in Shanghai. That was when I discovered Facebook. (I was never a big Myspace person for some reason…) It blew my mind that with only a few clicks, I was immediately able to reconnect with long-lost friends! To me, and I’m sure for many people, this was truly a game-changer – especially for TCKs! No more were exchanges of international addresses and phone numbers necessary, all you had to do was simply find each other online, and voila!
I also particularly like using social media as a news source, because it serves as a great pool of news that offers multitude of perspectives and opinions. There are even studies indicating that social media is becoming a popular news source for people under 30. And I’m confident that the numbers will only grow. Why? It’s because we love sharing the crap out of things. And that creates an amazing pool of diverse perspectives and opinions, which is a direct reflection of individual’s tastes and liking. I love that the people I follow on social media always curate the most interesting articles and news from all corners of the world.
Lastly, social media can be just very resourceful in every way. I don’t know about you, but there are times I need to look something up, and I would immediately look over to social media over Google. (blasphemy!) This is possible because social media sites are all kind of different in what type of function they offer. For instance, if I need to look up a DIY project, I would look it up on Pinterest or Youtube. If I want to find out what everyone is talking about a particular topic, Twitter would be my choice. I find that the results you find this way is less overwhelming and more specific than what Google will give you. Really – give it a try!
Team Worst Enemy
Have you ever been a victim of FOMO a.k.a. probably one of the suckiest feelings out there? I am a chronic victim and I must admit that a big part of it comes from from social media use. As much as it’s great that social media allows me to enjoy the perks mentioned above, it can also bring on an adverse effect. Road trips, cruise vacation, birthday bashes, music festivals… I am literally missing out on everything! My life sucks!! …is what goes through my head whenever I see pictures, status updates, or tweets on social media. FOMO is literally the worst, I’m telling you. It ruins your day, it makes you lose your appetite the whole day and you start questioning why you’re life sucks so much. (It clearly also makes you temporarily forget that you still have a roof over your head and clothes on your back.)
One of the most dangerous side effects of FOMO is comparing yourself to others. We easily forget that everything we see online is filtered and only shows a (twisted) glimpse of reality. I’m sure we all do this to some extent because we have the natural tendency to want to always put our best foot forward. Instagram filters, Facebook status, tweets are all examples of how we can control how we put ourselves out in the online world. Somehow, reason always seems to fly out the window and we let it get to our head, making ourselves think that we’re inferior in comparison to what we see on social media.
I love and embrace social media. Whenever a new platform comes out I like to give it a try just to see if I like it. Therefore, I can’t help but be a little biased. It is an integral part of my life and I think life without it would be very strange. However, as mentioned above, I also have been a victim of FOMO (well, I still am) and I do sometimes compare my life to that portrayed on social media. Therefore, I think social media can be your best friend with controlled use. Do not get carried away and remember that everything is better with moderate use! As long as you remember that, I don’t see how social media can be your worst enemy.
What do you guys think? Are you Team Best Friend or Team Worst Enemy?
Also, you can follow me on social media! 🙂