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Reasons social media is slowly killing us

We’re living in a time and age where the urge to check social media is stronger than the urge for sex. Not the biggest disaster under the sun? Think again, quips Wairimu Nyingi

1. We’re worrying about numbers

Let’s talk one of the seven deadly sins; greed! Social media is no longer about real connections. Rather, it has made us greedy for an audience. You’re lying to yourself if you don’t get pumped when you reach a new all-time high on likes on your latest Instagram post. If anything, all the comments, likes and posts are fueling your addiction to attention.

2. It becomes a competition, a sport

In a perfect world, a picture of pilau Njeri would be something worth sharing. Scratch that — not in any universe is pilau Njeri okay! Culinary skills aside, social media is becoming more and more like a competion. There’s an urgency, near-panic, to get the perfect shot and to ensure you do something better than the next person.

You may come across a photo of a friend brunching away at a high-end establishment, and instead of loving or liking the vibe, you in turn hit the pool with a backdrop of brunch, mimosa in hand. And it just keeps going on, until you and everyone else is satisfied.

3. People hide who they are

If only you could filter eveything in life! What a perfect existence that would be! Oh wait, you can! Remember the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” well, the same goes for pictures of people and things on the web. Filters are an easy way to create a perfect illusion for the all world to see. It’s as  easy as rotating a picture from left to right in zero to a second.

4. The art of polite disagreement

While sticks and stones may break your bones, words have a tendency to do more harm. Take some of the inane spats we come across every second, there is no question the Internet has certainly sharpened the tone of debate. It is almost as if everyone has an agenda and all differences must conform to the status quo.

5. It’s distracting us from actually spending time together

I can’t tell you how many times I have been out at a bar or restaurant and I see couples on their phones. Even something as mundane as a conversation about how the lamb is gets lost in the zeros and ones of tech. You’ll come across a pair totally ignoring each other as they are heavily engaged in the Twittersphere and the like.

And while some may argue they are on a first date that isn’t going well, or that a huge news story just broke out and they don’t want to miss out on that, it is a fact that we are all addicted to our phones and soon, we may actually forget how to meet people in real life.

6. We’re oversharing

Sharing is caring, but really, there should be a line. People are telling everyone literally everything about their life and that is not okay.

7. You risk making yourself unemployable

I’m sure sitting tweeting “I hate this job” and “my boss’s face looks like a sloth doing a handstand” might seem like a good idea at the time, but…

8. Our selfie obsession is out of control

There’s nothing wrong with taking selfies. There’s nothing wrong with taking a lot of selfies. But when your top four rows of Insta are you in the same pose – that pout, God, yes you have a jawline, congratulations – then we need to talk. Gym selfies count too – there’s only so much we can take.

C’mon, break them up with a bit of still life – say a latte or poach an egg or gooy faces your dog makes — you’re starting to look shallow, and we’re sure you’re not.

9. Experiences are interrupted by posts

Ever been out with your cirlce, having the time of your life, but feel as though you have to document every step along the way? That’s the trend. Instead of “living in the moment,” we’re on edge and are in fact not having the time of our lives. Instead, we’re obsessing over what to show off.

10. It contributes to anxiety and fomo

How many hours of your life do you spend comparing your life to others? How much time do you spend obsessing over the fear of missing out (Fomo, as the kids call it)?

What’s intersting is that very few do not curate what they share with the world. They put out there their most idealised versions of themselves and yet you’re here muttering things to yourself like, Nimo is travelling again…how does she afford it?

Meanwhile, you’re slowly dying away at your desk jobs. These feelings of envy and inadequacy associated with viewing other people’s lives through the lens of social media contribute to feelings of low self-esteem and anxiety, to name but a few. 

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