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Social Media is Real

You know that common sentiment where people try to remind you that social media isn’t real?

Slight segue: I have a cut on the top of my typing finger, and writing this really hurts...

Anyway, back to the post. So yeah. Social media... mad ting. It’s something that I’ve also voiced. Social media is just a virtual reality where we are all avatars, and it isn’t real life. The things you see on social media have all been altered, sensationalized, and engineered. It’s not a true reflection of the world we live in and our interactions in it.

All seems like common sense, right? Well, of course, I’ve been looking at this whole notion from a completely different perspective now. And I don’t actually think it does any of us any good to believe that social media isn’t real... and that’s for one very good reason.

Social media is real.

It’s really affecting your mental health, it’s really the source of your income, it’s really the place where you met your partner. The way social media governs our lives, the way it can make us feel, that’s all very real... so how can social media not be? Now, of course, two seemingly opposing viewpoints can be true at the same time. Social media can still be altered, sensationalized, and engineered, but the repercussions of this are all very real.

It’s true that, as individuals, we are different depending on the people we are with and the environment we’re in. We have a persona with our friends, a family persona, and a work one. Are all these real or fake? And in addition to this, we all have a social media persona. So how can this be any less real than the persona we adopt in other environments, whether it be online or otherwise? It’s all real; it’s all just an extension of ourselves. And something that we are actively creating to influence people.

Nothing online happens by accident. It all exists for a reason, and if it’s all fake, then why would we even bother? Now, of course, we all have certain levels of attachments to the social media world, but I think we are all more plugged into the matrix than we like to believe. How many times have you tried something recommended to you on TikTok? Or bought something because of an ad you saw on Instagram?

We can continue to bury our heads in the sand and try to make ourselves feel better by believing that social media isn’t real. And on a conscious level, our brain can actively make that distinction. However, our subconscious can’t. The world of social media is buried deep into your everyday life, and your body isn’t constantly able to maintain that level of awareness, knowing that what you’re seeing isn’t real.

And also, I guess no matter what is posted online, there’s always going to be some level of “doctoring.” A virtual medium will never be able to truly reflect reality anyway. So I guess there are levels to the game. But no matter how manipulated a video or image is on social media, it’s always still VERY real. Someone decided to make it, you decided to watch it, and the way it’s making you feel is very real.

What a mess.

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