Good afternoon Dear Readers,
Today an interesting and a complex thought visited my mind. We are to believe that it is the society that shapes and forms our thinking but here is an interesting question: who shapes the society? Aren’t we all? Following this logic it seems to me that society shapes us and we in return shape the society. Confused? Let’s break it down and look at the issue from various angles.
It is really common in the day of digital era that people’s opinions, thoughts and judgements are formed by what they see on the Internet. For instance, when a user posts a photo on Instagram in a luxury hotel with friends, the other users are programmed to believe that for some unknown reason they should be doing the same thing. Let’s take another example, a user posts a status and a photo of his/her workplace and writes how happy and honoured he/she is to work for the company X. The other unemployed users feel pressured to find a job asap because they start to feel like they are lacking something in their life. This raises a question of social jealousy and social inequality in an unconventional way – this is new and people do not realise that being exposed to social networks can have a negative impact on their perception of life and the way it should be.
Furthermore, when a user is online it doesn’t matter which social class he or she is from. Theoretically, everyone on the net has the same access to the data and can use same options and same tools for communication. However, coming back to the example of the photos in luxury hotels, this just reinforces the fact that today social classes are more distinct than ever. This then further creates a social separation in real life. People begin to judge and develop prejudices towards those who have a certain branded handbag or stay in a certain type of hotels for their vacations. The problem is that no one really knows the truth: what lies behind those photos, statuses and smiles? Perhaps that user worked three jobs and then decided to reward themselves with a fancy vacation in Cannes or Maldives or perhaps this person has been born into a family that can afford branded clothes, but should these people be judged against?
The issue is not even in the fact that people judge, the issue is deeper. The problem is that with the help of digital tools people communicate their social status and point out once again that social inequality still exists and will exist! Nonetheless, just because a person lives what seems to be an “easy life” doesn’t mean that he or she are not facing other issues in life. The thing is that this World works on balance and if one person is a little less wealthier he is probably happier in a different way and the other person who is wealthier is most likely to be unhappy in another way. Balance.
Last summer I visited Italy for vacation and I realised something. Despite the economical and political instability people were so happy and I mean it – they were genuinely happy. These people were real! They actually had emotions! I doubt that they spent over 3 hours a day on social media because they were always outside and socially engaged with others. These people enjoyed their life – they enjoyed every sip of coffee they took and every bite of the delicious spaghetti! These people didn’t care for money or for what others think of them – they were happy being them and were not scared to show that! On my return to Switzerland I realised that there is a great difference between the two countries. In Switzerland people have higher standards of living and can have a beautiful life and yet about 75% of the population is still unhappy. The smiles are not genuine, people are tired more often and when you enter a bus, coffee shop or night club about 68% of these people are on their iPhones claiming they are still being socially engaged through social media.
It’s just a shame that the world has so much to offer and there is so much to explore and discover through communication, traveling and simply being thankful that we woke up today! Instead people waste time on social media, social appearances and judgements. People that stay in their comfort zone for various reasons (social standing being one of them) are missing out on meeting people from different cultural backgrounds and various life situations. I find it a little disappointing, my Dear Readers, that there are so many unknown opportunities missed because of the superficial social opinion that is surfacing today in more ways than needed!
I guess what I am trying to say is that ‘society’ is something that we shape with our actions. Social media helps us shape the ‘society’ and it is not necessarily a good and positive impact on our lives! Just think about it for a second. Life is too short to live by the rules of ‘society’, don’t you think?