This morning social media told me I’m unlovable, not good enough, and not wanted. And it’s only 9:00 AM, give it a few more hours.
Advice and motivation can feel hollow because there is something missing on social media, the deeper story, the complex, the vulnerability, the soul of true connection, and the art of honest listening.
If you are struggling to pay for food and the roof over your head, many posts will tell you that you are not good enough to love, to hire, or even to know. I am cash poor and have no clue how to pay my bills, no one wants to be me, some fear my bad luck will rub off on them, and I can’t blame them. Hell, I don’t want to be me most days.
I could believe the posts that make general statements about who is desirable enough to love, who is rich enough to be happy, and who is successful enough to know. For some this road is a competitive challenge to dig deep and make it to the next level in this game called life. For others, this road leads to depression and despair as they believe their worth is measured by other’s values.
I am not a competitive person and I refuse to value myself based on a reflection of other people’s values.
Social Media is a reflection of the shallows of society. It is filled with incomplete stories, misunderstandings, and insecurities. It is the pavement of good intentions and placating advice. It is messy. It is kind. It is cruel. It is supportive. It is ugly. It is beautiful. Social Media is a reflection of life, not life itself.
Life is more complex. People are deeper than the Mariana Trench. They say things they wouldn’t if they just thought a bit before opening their mouths. They react based on their own issues, hurts, past lessons. They have stories that are so intricately woven they create an image you would weep to see. If we took the time to truly listen to people when they are being their most honest selves, we would find the connection we crave.
Social Media is not connection, it is connections.
We know ads and marketing messages are tailored to take advantage of people’s insecurities and promise to make you prettier, richer, happier. Social Media is a reflection of these messages as we try to portray ourselves in the best light possible using the same techniques as professional advertisers. Seth Godin said it best when he called Marketers liars, we are in a way, we tell the best stories and spin the worst into appearing better. We manipulate stats to fit our stories and we strategically make our topics fit what we believe society wants.
Social media is a study of society and the individual’s driving needs. Take a moment to study your social media profiles, what do they say about your values and goals?