The Breakdown of Social Media’s Self Confessed Addicts

Social media has become a major platform catapulting every day people in to a world of celebrity status popularity. Bringing great success to many who have carved out worthy careers by having the nation watch their public displays of perfection. So I’m wondering what is going to become of all those self confessed, obsessed social media addicts and the the new generation who are just getting started and know nothing other than social media? The last week has seen and what is now becoming the latest trend, a social media breakdown, a revelation of the truth behind those perfected instagram pictures and captions.
These instagrammers have put their “perfected” (so it would appear) lives on display for all to see. Feeding off the attention from the likes, followers and comments but the pretence of this fake life is clearly taking its toll on many. To be seen as perfect all the time is far too much pressure. Cyber fame is fake and comes without the added extras “real” celebrities have such as chefs, personal trainers, nannies, therapists and a team of advisors all of which help them create and maintain the perfect brand and without them, for most, it’s just a recipe for disaster, as we are now beginning to see. These youngsters are not equipt for the amount of pressure they put themselves under, so now, they are coming clean by revealing the truth behind the pictures and the great lengths to which they have taken to create a snapshot of their “perfect life.”
Essena O’Neill, an Australian model, whose instagram popularity has seen her gain thousands of follwers and fans has infamously removed the original captions that went alongside her pictures and replaced them with the truth! The truth being the fake set up of her pictures which became her life and has since, quit social media. Sadly though there will be plenty more young men and women waiting to fill her spot.
As a generation of likers, taggers, checkers and requesters, do “we” (I say “we” very loosely as most of us come nowhere near the levels of which these youngsters do) feel a sense of fame the more followers that we have? Are we all secretly craving attention and popularity from these sites?  When these needs and wants become an addiction, we, as a society are in big trouble. Soon, there will be social media therapy sessions taking place, on social media sites of course. The educational system will be implementing lessons in schools based on what is reality and what, simply, is not. It’s all just a matter of time.
I feel fortunate to have grown up  part of the generation where there was no social media and as a youngster understood what privacy meant, to memorise numerous household telephone numbers, many of which are still rooted to my brain, mobile numbers though, absolutely no chance! To own hard copies of pictures taken which unlike nowadays we only got “one take” to get it right, perfect or not. To write a letter and then wait patiently for a letter of response (if we were lucky and depending on who we had sent the letter to…. say no more) to come in the second class post. All I can say is social media is a scary reality. I’m glad I feel too old for most of these sites and will happily limit myself to just the two to plant my pictures on. Luckily for me, my 3 year old stops me from getting in too deep but we have to sympathise for the youngsters entering in to this unrealistic world of social media. Lets hope the harsh realities unveiled by the likes of Essena O’Neill and others who will hopefully follow, resonates within the next generation.

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