I know of people, the first thing, that they do in the morning before stepping out of the bed is to check their Facebook or Instagram. This behaviour is repeated by most before going to bed. And of course, it's a norm with most of my friends to check their social media accounts at least a 100 times (and am not exaggerating when I say that) during the course of the day.
I even have friends who get really upset if they don't get an 'X' number of 'likes' on their post. I remember this particular episode when a friend called up her hubby to reprimand him for not liking her post after a few minutes of it going up.
In a world, where we all strive for happiness, the number of our FB likes today determine our happiness.
As parents, we are constantly stressed and anxious blaming on the pressures of parenthood. Have you ever thought about how social media adds up to your pressures?
We all love to showcase, our children's achievements. Great! But then we have some mums who would go that extra mile. 'Going to volunteer at Rahul's school. He has his soccer match today. All the best mera bachcha.' Three hours later. Rahul's triumphantly posing picture is all over Facebook and Instagram, with the caption: 'My Rahul, won. Am so proud." What's the image you have got as a reader? That Rahul won the match on his own. No mention of how many goals Rahul scored and that soccer is a team sport. Right. As a mum, you start feeling Rahul is a rockstar great in sports, great in academics. It's the image Rahul's mum has successfully managed to create. You, on the other hand, is left feeling you are not doing a great enough job as a parent coz your child is not in the soccer team. It's great to brag about your achievements and your child's but do it with a panache.
Scenario 2: 'She loves the camera.' So often I have heard mums of toddlers say this. We make our children pose, pose and pose more for posting their pictures on social media. I know 6-year-olds who ask their mums how many 'likes' did their picture receive. So, what are we teaching our children? Others approval of you is what matters. And you as a parent, expect a number of likes to a) boost your confidence b) to boost your child's confidence. What does this lead to? Children as young as 8-year-old being on social media. I really don't need to educate you about the perils of exposing children to social media at such a young age.
Research has shown that we tend to show-off and live an unrealistic life on social media. In order, to impress our contact list and so-called friends we haven't met or spoken with in ages, quite often, we 'project' an image of our family or oneself. In due course, quite a few number of social media users have started living their lives on these platforms. Thus users tend to update their status so often, and with such trivial issues (my cat has not pooed for two days!) Inane, really! Of course, they also have the pressure of updating status and getting 'likes' for such wonderful updates.
Social media is a great way to stay connected with family and friends. I have re-connected with old school, college friends and ex-colleaques. But it's time we started using it judiciously and not merely for bragging or putting pressure on us. By the end of the day, there are some precious moments (they could be happy, silly, fun,giggly or any emotion) that a parent and child or husband and wife or friends share, in the privacy of their environment. Why spoil it by saying 'cheese' all the time and putting it up on Fakebook?