When we Google Social media positives, the top results indicate several positives that are all beneficial for marketers! Undoubtedly social media platforms are The Place to market your brand and reach a huge audience!
It’s all very good for marketers!
But are all of us Marketers?
Are we trying to use social media channels to “market ourselves?”
To a large extent, this is true!
What started as platforms for social networking to encourage social interactions has unfortunately now become more like a crowded marketplace where each one is trying to make his/her presence felt in some way or the other.
As far as businesses or brands are concerned, there is nothing wrong with promoting on social media. The problem arises when we try to do it at a personal level.
Social media has given everyone a platform to make his/her presence felt. There is no harm in posting stuff to talk about oneself. But the problem arises when this affects an individual on a personal level.
This is what actually happens- When someone posts anything on a social media platform, for instance, Facebook, he/she waits to see how their friends on the platform will respond to the post. The reactions come up in the form of likes and comments. These responses make the individual happy. But not for too long…..!
He is happy only until someone else posts something and the attention of the common friends’ shifts there. Now begins the competition! The first individual, let’s call him “A” is no longer just interested in the response he gets for his post, he is now looking at the reactions to the post of his friend, person “B”.
He starts comparing the reactions of friends to both posts,
- Who got how many likes?
- How many friends commented?
- What were the comments of common friends?
- And, the list goes on…..!
And, don’t worry, “B” on his part is also suffering the same questions!
This is where the negative effects of a simple post begin. People are not happy with just what they have posted or what their friends have said. They want it to be more than what their friends have received.
The consequences of this response are:
- Constantly checking social media to see how his post and those of his friends are doing!
- Getting restless if the responses are not to his satisfaction!
- Posting more and more to get attract the attention of friends back to him!
- Thinking constantly of what to post so that he stays in the limelight!
As this goes on, it starts impacting his mind and affects him emotionally as well! Not just this, too much obsession with social media makes him lose control of his mind. Many of his activities are steered by social media. He starts doing several things just to stay relevant on social media.
The next thing that happens is, in trying to be the “star” on social media platforms, the individual starts uploading “fake” posts. The purpose of these posts is just to attract attention. So he goes to any extent for this! He may sport a fake persona with things that are not a part of his life in reality.
This impacts him in different ways. First of all, he is insecure that his reality will be discovered and he is anxious. This state of mind affects all his normal activities negatively. He begins to lead a dual life. He distances himself from the real people and relationships in his life. This is because these people know his reality and are witnesses to his fake life on social media. So he is not comfortable around such people.
The bottom line is that even though he might get the validation he wants from all his friends on social media channels, he becomes lonely. This is because he has not only grown apart from the real people in his life but also his own self. And, this is the reason we hear of the so-called social media stars committing suicide!
Now exactly what exactly was the individual trying to market and where did it lead him?
This, of course, is an extreme case. But such cases are not unheard of among social media users.
This is just one example of the negative impact of social media on our lives. Besides this, there are several other ways in which social media affects our lives.
Read more about this and how to reduce the negative impacts of social media on our lives and make our social media experience enjoyable in my book Social Media Tomfoolery.