Billions of visual and written contents flood online platforms every day. One would say this means of meeting people indirectly at one’s comfort zone has eliminated an unquantifiable portion of barriers when it comes to social engagement. Such barriers could be distance, energy, money, and time needed for one-on-one communication. However, the jesus of social media has been unable to save the situation. The public are rather deepened into emotional stress, inadequate communication skills, anxiety, and depression. All these are new deadly ailments that kill silently by tricking the victim into agreeing to take their lives.
Having walked through this haggard road of self-deformity, I would be an ingrate if I fail to acknowledge the advantages of social media which has taken the world by storm. My uncle got his current job through an online connection. My brother is a successful freelancer on Upwork and Fiverr, and I, have had the priceless opportunity of entering this contest by stumbling on a post on Facebook.
Over the years, I have reconsidered my view of mentors whom I had thought climbed success’ ladder by being perfect. I have had access to the stories they shared themselves and it has made me feel more connected to them. I have joined writing groups and met writers from across the world—even from places where my feet are yet to reach. While I am positively influenced by all these, I, nonetheless, have been subjected to negative influences which have meddled with my self-esteem, over time.
To set the ball rolling, in this direction, I have been immensely manipulated by social media’s definition of morality and beauty. It has given me more fear and rejection than I can handle. I indeliberately make comparisons between myself and my peer groups. Like every other child, I have run into depression a couple of times because I felt I wasn’t enough, like my friends. This obscurity has marred my growth and development as a kid who is trying to put his head above water.
According to Forbes 30 under 30, social media influencer, Prince Ea said ‘While we make 5,000 friends list, some of us are friendless’. Amidst these disconnections and rejections, social media have drastically reduced my one-on-one communication skills. I often become nervous to strike discussions in public as I have always been glued to wireless chatting and posting. This is as a result of less experimented communication skills that would have helped my interdependence as a human being.
Also, I have suffered criticisms that have greatly lowered my self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth. All these made my dream of becoming a speaker seemingly unachievable.
As a boy growing up in a decent home, social media have reconfigured my perception about life. I now think it old-fashioned to be decent in behaviour and dressings. Once or twice, I have contemplated buying the trending crazy clothes and had admired the hot-in-town haircuts. In addition, social media are about recognition, and I have twisted my personality as crazy as possible to be duly recognized and respected.
In the light of this broad exposure, low level of secrecy has been attained as provocative issues such as sex-related discussions and videos are placed for public consumption. To be candid, I have learnt the nooks and crannies of infatuations and sexual indulgence at a prime age to stay woke.
In this technology-driven world, conscious efforts must be put in place to curb this menace. Parents should monitor the time their kids spend on social media. Parents and communal institutions should talk about the adverse effect of social media addiction. Social media platforms should incorporate strict parental guidance and control on highly explicit contents.