Social media and selflessness go hand in hand

Komalpreet Kaur, Staff Writer

It feels like nowadays that it is impossible to have a conversation with someone without them mentioning themselves in some way, shape, or form. While it can be a relevant part of a conversation to mention oneself, this isn’t always the case, but our me-centered social media universe has led us to believe that it is.

We are part of a culture where there is increasing emphasis and education on mental health posted all over social media, and like anything else in the world, there are given benefits and disadvantages. I still believe the benefits of this will always outweigh the disadvantages since the more education put into a society, the less repetitive of a future it will bring. However, through this culture comes a disadvantage that could use some light shed upon it. The disadvantage develops into an unpopular opinion of what mental health emphasis is doing to people as individuals. This disadvantage is the fact that people might use the concept of mental self-care to their undue advantage. Taking care of your mental health is crucial to overall well being but, sometimes this invites certain people to use mental health as a way to work the odds in their favor. According to Live Science, a psychology, pseudoscience, and scientific phenomenon reporting website, the motivations for someone to claim illness include gaining sympathy and attracting attention. There is not a big shocker there, to most of us it’s recognizable if someone’s intent is to get attention. The attention ranges from just simply receiving the sympathy of others all the way to trying to profit off of whatever people are sympathizing. Through the means of social media, all it takes is posting one’s sad, sad story and going viral. Then the messages, money, and whatever else intended comes flooding in.  

Moreover, some people have embedded in them sympathy which comes out for anyone really easily. Therefore, most people like this don’t think twice before retweeting a sad story to spread awareness, not particularly checking any truth behind the person’s claim. This encourages more and more people to try to do attempt doing this—it’s making people selfish.

The additional problems that arise from a self absorbed society are the validity people earn from posting on Instagram and jobs labeled “Social Media Star” that many strive for, but end up being hit or miss. Years ago, it was not possible to become a social media star, because there was no social media. Today, some people still think it is impractical to try to make a living off platforms like YouTube and Instagram among others. Several of the Instagram Models and YouTubers we watch and scroll past create brands off of just their physical attributes and live life obsessed with how they look and how they present themselves to the world. The shift to a more digital world has made most people with social media accounts wonder how great of a life those who are in the public eye must have, whether they achieved it by their seemingly perfect physical attributes or anything else they have. It almost turns into a chain reaction of self obsession, because the ¨perfect” people viewed on social media are scrolling down their own social media and pointing out their insecurities. Everyone has them, but due to social media, it is now obsession to be perfect.

Social media should serve it´s positive purposes, like connecting people and spreading news quickly. It should not be a competition for who can get the most beautiful candid or competition of likes and followers.  There is a real world besides likes and followers, a world the digital world is detached from. Though difficult, it’s something everyone should watch out for: the detachment from the real world is the path to becoming selfish and self-centered.