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How social media turned life ugly

Put down your phone…and eat your meal without taking a photo of it.

Put down your phone…and eat your meal without taking a photo of it.

Do you remember life before the internet? No? Well, neither do I.

What I do remember though is looking at photos of people at the beach while I was sitting for my final exams when suddenly, the blessed things seemed two thousand times heavier: it literally felt like I was the only person stuck inside studying.

Feeling bored? With just a few clicks you can find out what your ex, his cousin, or her second cousin, or her second cousin’s friend are up to. Twenty-two clicks later and you’re no closer to curing your ennui but you’re definitely a lot closer to a mental breakdown.

A mere 10 years ago, you could comfortably hate your ex from a secure distance and never have to find out if his new belle was, in fact, prettier than you, but nowadays it takes the virtue of a saint not to succumb to your inner sleuth.

Throughout this black-mirrored circus, few are aware of how ephemeral, shallow, and well, unnecessary, all this truly is

We are all guilty of it, yet like a trans-alpine train crash in slow motion, we simply can’t look away. Parading their insecurity in plain sight, young, able-bodied women take their hundredth selfie of the day and buy ‘likes’ to flimsily conceal their insecurity. All throughout this black-mirrored circus we have created and self-perpetuated, few of us are aware of how ephemeral, shallow, and well, unnecessary all this truly is.

In the past we were taught that honesty was the best policy, but in every glittery corner of every social platform that I look at I see none. We used to say that the camera never lies, yet now all it does is just that.

I’ve been to beaches that looked like paradises and turned out to be dumps, tried food that was inedible after seeing luscious photos of it online and I’ve even failed to recognise some of the people who clog my feed every day because they look so different from their air-brushed counterparts (and I haven’t  even started with  those couples that publicly wish each other good morning every single day as if they were living in a war-torn country and didn’t think that their significant other would last the night).

We’ve all been bamboozled by the social media gods at one point or another but that doesn’t mean that we should take it lying down. Put down your phone, switch off the internet and learn to live again.

Don’t spend what little time you have on this mortal coil watching three-minute clips of people drinking organic, vestal virgin-picked coffee in Hanoi. Instead, leave your sofa and take a walk; read that book you’ve been meaning to get into for ages, or better still, take the time to cook yourself a proper meal. You might even be able to eat a nice plate of pasta without taking a photo of it.

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