The world, at least the one I live in, is consuming the shell of the experience. I know you have scrolled through hundreds of thousands of images, statuses, OOTDs, and many more things on your feed. You might have been like me who after looking at those fantastic photos asked myself if I am living the life that I should be living. This phenomenon is called the Social Comparison Theory.
In simpler times we look onto our neighbors to have an anchor to judge our status or state of living. We compare our possessions, jobs, houses, clothes, and many more to those owned by our village neighbors. If we can match or somehow overtake our neighbors’ lifestyle we feel that we are living the good life. Right now, with the presence of the internet, the village got a lot bigger. We are currently comparing our lives to celebrities and millionaires. There is no wonder why so many people are dissatisfied with their lives.
You can read a related article here: 3 ways social media triggers depression
My brother once told me about a trip he’d gone with a couple of friends. He said that he did not enjoy one bit of it. The trip was so hollow, and it seemed like the most important parts were the selfies and group pictures at each location they went. At an average, the group he went with spent about 20 mins to 30 minutes each spot. My brother did not get to enjoy the falls, the sights, and even the travel. The driver was driving at a dangerous speed because they had to cram up all the locations in the limited time they had. It was disappointing on so many layers that my brother said he felt he wasted money on that trip. It seemed to me that the group only wanted to brag on social media and never really bothered to experience the places they went through.
My girlfriend attended a friend’s all-girl-hang-out invite. There were about 5 to 6 people in that gathering. However, my girlfriend kept on chatting up with me on an online messaging app. I asked her if she was enjoying the hangout. She said, “Of course I’m enjoying it.” I then proceed to tell her that if she was enjoying, why was she busy chatting me up when her friends are with her on the same table. Now I get it; she wants to keep me updated because I’m her boyfriend after all. However, I’d prefer that she enjoy her friends’ company as well. Going back to our conversation, she said that they were all glued onto their phones. They would only interact to share a cute video or posts they happen to scroll through their feed. It was so sad. They were accustomed to meet and spend the night like that while brandishing their FB my day and IG stories of how much fun they were having.
Now, what has these events have to do with our current internet culture? The answer is simple. We are so hung up on showing off a hollow experience. It is what people consume daily on their phones. Many will realize this fact; however, so few can get out of this “new culture” that we are living.
Is there a solution to this? At this time of writing, I cannot say for sure. To address this cultural behavior, we must understand what the deeper causes are. Perhaps there is an ancient desire to elevate one’s self or one’s community from the current state of being.
Tell us what you think in the comments below.