November 25, 2020
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Social media has lost its purpose and has become a platform to fake. Photo by Matt Barrero. Illustrations by Nova Blanco-Rico.


By Matt Barrero, Assistant Sports Editor

Remember a time when social media, apps, or even smartphones for that matter, didn’t exist? One might say they were simpler times where we sat around with friends and family and discussed what was going on in their lives. Compare that old school scenario to the norm now: checking in at every restaurant you dine in on Facebook; a video of a mother modeling provocatively on the beach and using her child to take the photo; or how about the selfies of people in hospital beds with the caption, “Don’t really want to get into it, but I’m fine.”

Social media posting has gotten out of hand and has become less about posting for one’s own interests and likes and more about posting for everyone else.Terms like ‘influencer’ and ‘clout’ are just examples of what is truly the core problem. 

Narcissism is rearing its ugly head.

You may be at the point where you don’t want to continue to read the article because you’re being exposed and that is exactly the point I am trying to make. You are aware of the fact that you are posting on your social media feeds for likes. And yes, many will argue that this is the normality of social media these days, but I’m here to tell you there’s still a chance to promote yourself without being full of yourself. 

Here are three do’s and don’ts to avoid becoming a social media narcissist. 

DON’T Be Desperate:

If you have no real reason to post anything on your feed, don’t post anything. If you feel the need for social validation and attention, then you’ll probably share viral content that everyone is buzzing about. But if everyone is sharing it, are you actually unique? The answer, I can tell you, is no. Don’t be desperate to post about literally anything just because you haven’t posted in a day or two. Sure, you may get some likes, but think of these two questions before you post:

1) Does this provide value to anyone but me?

2) Why would someone view my post?

This is the best way to avoid being clickbait and how you can stay true to yourself rather than solely aiming to earn more likes than the person next to you. Don’t make your life about likes because in the end it’s not about how many likes you get, but more about the actual people who like your content.

DO Consider What Your Parents Think:

This should be at the top forefront of anyone’s mind when posting on social media. What we must understand is that no matter how old we are or become, our parents will always have something to say about the content we put into the public eye and especially when we post anything foolish or questionable. Yes, there are ways to keep your content private and avoid your parents’ criticisms, but if you have to go out of your way to hide things from your parents, is the post actually worth it? Who are you trying to impress? Carefully consider what you display and whether or not your mom and dad would approve. The most important people you will ever need to impress is your parents.

DON’T Embellish Your Reality:

They say if you have it, flaunt it. Okay, cool – but do you actually have something to flaunt? Social media fakes are the worst kind of person, in my personal opinion (obviously). If you truly have worked hard to show off that new BMW or keys to the new house, then I applaud you and you can happily flaunt away. Just remember who you are also flaunting to: family, friends, and colleagues. If they know your actual reality and know you are in no place to be posting about fancy cars and three-story mansions, you’ll be deleting that post just as fast as you reached 100 likes. Another factor to consider is if you are actually faking your social media life,. wWhat happens when that flame dies out and you truly have nothing to flaunt? The best way to avoid any sort of embarrassment is to simply be yourself on and off the social media world.

Final Thoughts

It is easy to get obsessed with being loved and complemented day in and day out. The problem is that this mentality becomes addictive and equivalent to taking drugs. You want that boost of serotonin and you’ll do anything in your power to hold onto that high.

Social media was meant to bring people together and to celebrate milestones and achievements. It’s meant to social network with those who share common interests or believe you can be an asset to promote value into their business. Instead, social media has taken over our ways of building relationships for both personal and business reasons. Narcissism makes it difficult to make connections with people and it’s a dangerous trait overall, simply because it becomes so hard to make any progress in life due to the inability to form something real.

While this may come off as an insult to you or your brand, I can assure you that’s not the point of my writing. We choose to act based on our own satisfaction with our lives. I was once someone who felt like being popular on social media was a way of life. But as time has passed, I realized that those likes and the attention I received only lasted for a millisecond. It is not a do or die situation if I don’t get the recognition. That time can be better spent with more productive ways of living. If you want to follow my pages and like my content whenever I choose to post, then great. But I’m not going to be social media famous and I am okay with that.   

Additionally, if you have reasons to promote yourself and feel you have something unique, go for it. But since you have made it this far and maybe you are questioning your overall model on social media, I’ll leave you with a few questions to consider: 

What makes you stand out different from the rest?

Is your content worth people’s attention and authentic?

Why are you sharing this content?

Whatever your answers may be, remember to stay true to yourself above anything else. The social media world can be either mean and nasty or kind and uplifting. There is no middle.

And never read the comments.

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