Is social media really that bad?
Social media is getting a bad rap again lately. We’ve had the multitude of research telling us that Instagram is damaging for our identities and self-esteem. We understand that Facebook does not always represent the realities of the lives that are presented. And we (rather dubiously) see that there is a generation of people who are ‘addicted’ to social media. The ‘addiction’ thing is perhaps another post for another day.
There is something in the overarching discourse here that suggests that social media is inherently bad. This, in turn, has spawned many other articles and blog posts that suggest ways of approaching social media - you know, don’t use it as much, limit your time, don’t bring it into the bedroom. What this then serves to do, is feed into societal expectations how how to be a ‘good citizen’. Essentially, it it saying that you should pay attention to relationships (not be buried in your phone). You should give time to people other than yourself (not spend time taking selfies). You should find some creative hobbies (creating and liking memes doesn’t count) . And do you know what? I get this, but I also love a good go at Candy Crush, and I live for videos of animals doing funny things.
In short, I don’t believe that social media is the enemy that it’s being made out to be. Like anything else, it is a tool, and tools can be overused. In saying that, we should have the capacity to use those tools as we wish, without being as regulated as we are, to show that we’re doing things ‘right’.