With the increase in popularity of social media for those of a certain age, having an online presence is paramount. Whether it is new business, established bastions of the high street or just plain old Gordon Bennett ( one for the oldies!), being active on Facebook, Twitter et al is a given. But does this access to the world and its wife mean that we are seeking some kind of instant gratification? Is our inherent need to be liked further compounded by whether someone has liked / shared / retweeted what we post? Is it bad for our health – ultimately, is it bad for our happiness?
I would like to think I retain a measured approach to the big business of social media. I do what I should for work and peruse at leisure for pleasure – mainly anything related to football and my beloved Brighton and Hove Albion. Even I, however, cannot resist an air punch if someone of note responds or retweets something of mine. It is like an acceptance. I am suddenly part of this gang, the online family that grants closer access to the rich, famous and infamous.
I have also seen the damage that can be done via posting online. The keyboard warrior who gains joy inflicting pain upon others through the vitriol of their words can create havoc and damage in a second. Their comments wounding a stranger without thought for the person involved. Of course there are those that court this kind of interaction and thrive on the ‘banter’ that ensues. I have witnessed those who perhaps seek something else from their online existence, a cry for help, for friendship, an escape from their external world. When life is not in balance, when your core is not happy, social media can be both supportive, but also a dangerous attempt at self-medication.
As with all relatively anonymous offerings, posting can be cathartic to those in need, but also can compound the unhappiness in their lives. Why does everyone else seem to be having such a great life, yet theirs is so bleak? Why does Joe Bloggs have over a thousand friends, yet they have just a hundred? It is a facade and one that does not help those who crave a need to be wanted. Sometimes, the only thing to do is to revert back to the good old days. Be friends with people in the real world and don’t worry about things beyond your control.
Happiness cannot be found in others, it is within you!
Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY