Social Media and Excessiveness

I love social media, and I am a fan of it, especially how it has democratized information sharing and created space for people to contribute to social causes. I have seen people raise money here so that a struggling child can pay their school fees. I have seen people here raise money to ensure a sick person who needs an urgent operation can get money to do that. I have seen people raise money to help a family cope during the lockdown. I have seen the power of social media in advocacy, information sharing, inspiration, and advancing the human race.




However, as much as social media gives us agency to be free and to share, it's gradually taking away our agency to share.
Let me tell you why. If you post; what happens? or share alternative thoughts. You get canceled for expressing yourself. People actually are not listening but pouncing on a thought that doesn't align with them. You post a photo, make a post...the next thing someone is messaging you about not responding to a message or probably asking you for one or two things. People are connecting not because they want to build relationships but because of what they will get from you. You accept a connection. The next thing is “help” or what they want to get. No actual building relationships. So people are scared to accept a friend request. Post about themselves or even share some thoughts because they are afraid. So we miss an opportunity to learn from people who truly want to share.
Some others are busy monitoring your chats to check when you are online or when you check their status to castigate you. So where is freedom? Yes, there are freedoms but I think a time will come we will reach the extreme, and social media is already becoming a leading cause of mental health issues(if not a major reason). I am not a saint as well but there is a need for strong self/emotional and social awareness to cope with the excessiveness of social media.
Online life is now becoming an extension of real life and to some extent deserves almost a similar standard. Again, people are growing in this age not learning how to cope with alternative thoughts or build key relationships. Relationship building is hard but we could say social media add to this. Instant gratification. You want a quick response to your message and if they don't respond, you come under their post to say check your D.M. People don't even have the patience anymore or even the opportunity to delay gratification.
More even, I am perturbed by the questions people can easily find answers to but you are asking me to answer them or some things I have written multiple posts about or even added into a book but you never bothered to buy them. For example, there are multiple resources out there about scholarship opportunities and applying to a school. However, someone who wants to apply for an MSc programme, could not even do a little bit of internet search and find information. How come then do you want to survive in a rigorous academic environment? How do you want to carry out desk research?
While I am not demeaning the work of people who help with personal statements but even if you cannot write a personal statement that is so personal, how do you want to conduct a critical inquiry into a field or write an essay or present an argument? Truth is; merely some of these hard and difficult things are what makes you unique and different and anybody can. I am not saying people should not pay to learn how to write a personal statement. If you are paying to learn how to write your story better or to write better. That's a good thing. That's fine! But outsourcing things that are so personal does not just sit right with me. So if you are not the norm, people will tag you as a bad person on social media.
Again, it takes a lot of self-awareness to deal with the excessiveness of social media and for me, I have made the commitment that people would not deny me the agency to share or not to share. They would not also deny me the opportunity to share information that would benefit one or two people or support a cause that I am passionate about.
Hammed Kayode Alabi (c) 2022

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