As social media grows, it is also beginning to change life as we know it.
People are becoming increasingly active on media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.
Social media is defining this era by allowing users to create their own content, which is a great thing.
However, this is also creating a harmful habit that must stop.
Those who use social media frequently have an idea of what to expect on a daily basis.
As one scrolls through their feeds, they’re likely to see videos, images and tweets of individuals expressing themselves. How often do we see our friends showing off their new gifts, what they’re eating and where they are?
Sure, technology and platforms that allow us to stay up to date with one another is cool, but at what cost?
These applications on our smartphones have shaped the way we interact.
They’ve forced us into thinking we need to let others know when we’re eating at big fancy restaurants, driving high-end cars or visiting famous parts of the world.
I get it, we want to brag a bit of what’s going on in our lives.
We want to feel important and we yearn for validation.
I’ve been guilty of doing this myself.
But, in all honesty, social media feels like one big competition. One where everyone is looking to outdo one another.
This fourth dimension of social media turned us into something we are not and shouldn’t become.
All of a sudden, we’ve been pressured to prove we’re living better than others.
To make matters worse, social media is beginning to deteriorate our relationships.
I’ll be the first to admit that I sure do get jealous of watching my friends post cool adventures they’re on.
I wish I could do the things they have the opportunity to do.
Truth be told, if I’m feeling this way, I am almost certain other people do too.
Personally, social media, seems like it does more harm than good at times. For example, studies show our mental health and depression levels increase the more we engage with the web.
I can relate to feeling drained after keeping up with the overwhelming amount of content on social media platforms each day.
I find myself desperately needing to break away from the chains of the media world.
I have also experienced feelings of shame from others.
People in my past have made me feel guilty because I didn’t “like” their latest post or see their Snapchat story. These tiny interactions on social apps seem to determine how important we are to another person.
Why should such a small action define my real-world companionship with someone?
People sometimes assume I purposely chose not to view their content, when in reality, I’m probably just not on my phone.
Ultimately, we must remember we are only human and we are unique in our own special way.
There’s no need to create an altered version of ourselves on social media just to gain popularity. No matter what we do, what we own or where we travel, we are not much different from each other.
Our lives all end the same way.
Who cares if you have the latest phone, visited the most famous bar in town or bought some expensive brand name clothes?
It doesn’t make you any better than the next person.
I encourage everyone to spend time getting to know the people around you instead of scrolling through their social media.
Cristian Alvarez is a senior studying journalism.