Renee Oliver


Renee Oliver

So the question I ask is this, how much social media is too much? Or when will too much be enough? 

Social media has become the one and only computer-mediated technology that has the power to make our society in the 21st century progress or completely dismantle. This is a heavy statement to make. However, as a 21-year-old millennial that has grown up and lived through the AIM, Myspace, Facebook and now Twitter phase, I feel that I am most fit to say this. I am witnessing the effect of social media and how much power it holds amongst all of us. This is not just a “millennial thing.” This is effecting any and everyone, regardless of if one has access to a smartphone or not.

We no longer need computers to stalk each others lives while simultaneously posting every aspect of ours. The access is directly at our fingertips. When something is easily accessible, it is more likely to be used. Overuse can then lead to addiction. So the question I ask is this, how much social media is too much? Or when will too much be enough? Earlier this year, I found myself constantly checking my Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat feeds. I was taking in so much content at once. I started to realize the effect that it was having on me.

Most of the time while scrolling I would find myself becoming either angered or annoyed by the posts that I was seeing. They were either completely negative, not informational or ignorant.  I started to get the sense that people were posting certain pictures or saying certain things just because it is what they thought others would like and want to see.

Originality, privacy and positivity are rapidly decreasing.

I am sorry to break it to you but we all were not put on this earth to be models, rappers, singers, photographers, videographers and waist trainer ambassadors. Let it be clear, I am not knocking anyone’s hustle. I actually love seeing the people in my generation be productive but only when it is real and genuine. Social media has allowed for us to create false images of ourselves. Along with the false images comes the false mindsets. It is actually changing our views and how we live life.

I follow certain people on social media that I guess you could say I go to for advice and inspiration. Nevertheless, I do this while still keeping my own personal thoughts and morals intact. Before I took a hiatus from social media earlier this year, I felt myself starting to become brainwashed by the content on my feeds. I am not afraid to admit it because it can and is happening to others just like me. The difference is that most people may not even recognize this until it is too late. When I was younger, I looked at social media as a positive outlet. A place for me to interact with friends and meet new people. Social media still possesses these qualities but it is being overshadowed by constant negativity and judgement. Judgement on how many likes and retweets we get, how many followers we possess, on the clothes and hairstyles that we wear and what we are doing for a living.

The world is already a hard enough place but social media has amplified it. And although that may sound harsh, the world itself is still beautiful.

Put your phone down and experience what is happening right in front of you. Not everything needs to be posted to a Snapchat story. The mental memory that we possess will last far beyond a 24-hour limit. I have fallen victim to all of these social media traps and if you are still reading this, you may be able to relate as well. The main thing is to remain positive and as yourself. People will appreciate and recognize this more and in return, your online presence will grow organically.But even if it does not, trust that it is okay. Social media does and should not equate to validation. 

As long as you are 100% validated within yourself, that is all that truly matters.