.Awakening - Social Media
Social Media has changed the face of this earth. Over the last 14+ years now, human beings have totally changed the way they look at life, think about themselves, perceive relationships, and define happiness.
You don't even need to step out of your bedroom to get to know what's happening in another part of the world. Information that is - oftentimes - totally irrelevant to you can reach you with the blink of an eye.
While there seem to be many benefits, there are more losses.
Losses that can't be seen through the naked eye.
There are Several side-effects / ill-effects of using Social Media, in general. This is not specific to any so-called Platform. (I'm not even sure if I should undermine the word 'Platform' by using it for these ridiculous Apps.) However, the more Popular an App, higher are the chances of you suffering from these ill-effects / side-effects / negative effects.
Part of this text was originally written by me as a Quora Answer to the question: What's the dark side of using tiktok? Today's youth are sadly glued to TikTok, Instagram, and similar Apps all day and that's not a good habit to have.
This page contains the most updated and detailed content.
EVERYTHING written on this page is COMPLETELY and SOLELY based on my personal experience!
NOTE: I am NOT against Social Media. These tools have been made BY US and FOR US. They're for fun, and it would be alienating to not use them at all.
Dance ('officially') stormed back into my life at 36
only because of TikTok.
The App enabled me to do so many creative things, and
discover so many sides of me that not even I was aware of.
However, every coin has two sides. TikTok is the most popular platform (banned in India in June 2020). Instagram REELS is the new source of garbage (launched in mid-2020). WhatsApp is no less than a Social Media "platform".
TikTok is the Cancer that has affected YouTube and Instagram. You see "For You" pages all over the place now. However, - pretending to be the devil's advocate - TikTok is, at least, doing this openly. Instagram REELS is doing the same thing sneakily.
These Apps are diminishing our growth as Human Beings. Therefore, unless you "work" with Social Media Applications as your Source of Income (as a Team Member, Chosen Influencer, Moderator, etc.), here are some of the ill-effects that you must keep in mind (whether you're a Creator or a Consumer):
|Histrionic Personality Disorder [...]|
|Fame Lust / External Validation [...]|
|The Sharing Addiction [...]|
|Kids on Display [...]|
|Emotional Manipulation by Social Media [...]|
|Compulsive Phone Use [...]|
|Vulgarity By & For the Youth [...]|
|Reduced Focus In / On Life [...]|
|Avoiding Companions / Phubbing [...]|
|Negative Content [...]|
|Unfairness / Discrimination / Bias [...]|
|Sexual Promiscuity among Gay men [...]|
|Constant Exposure to Unsolicited Content [...]|
Histrionic Personality Disorder
Abbreviated as H.P.D., there are increased chances of an individual (especially a youngster) developing this disorder. Here are a few symptoms:
- Excessive Attention Seeking
- Inappropriately Seductive Behavior
- Low Tolerance to Stress
- Being overly dramatic about petty things
You will see the symptoms of H.P.D. in some of the other ill-effects described below.
Fame Lust / External Validation
Apps - like TikTok / Instagram (REELS) - subliminally "promise" Quick Fame by intermittently boosting videos and making them go viral - even if those videos are full of hatred, vulgarity, or stupidity. This, naturally, develops the desire to "get famous" among Creators... and to do everything possible for that.
While there's nothing wrong with getting popular, the core of the problem is the desire to be validated externally i.e. expecting people (or the App itself) to validate oneself. That's more dangerous than you can imagine.
At the same time (as you will read below), these Apps (rather, Businesses) are completely unfair and biased, and (as part of their favoritism) they boost content of only a selected few people (so-called Influencers spreading nothing, but garbage), which is not only unethical, but also the cause for frustration, negativity, and hatred among the youth. You may have seen videos of people breaking their phones and tripods, but that's EXPLOSION. What about the IMPLOSION that's happening within?
50% of India's Population is below the age of 25 (as of 2020), and - on a light note - all of them want to "get popular" (i.e. get validated). Some of them are so desperate that they beg for Likes on their Comments.
and Human Insecurity is their raw material.
Why does "Walking on FeviQuick" or "Couples during their First Time" need to trend on YouTube? I mean, seriously!?
The answer is simple - Demographics of a Country, often reflects on the Social Media, but whether or not it does, the youth's minds are easy to manipulate, and that's the kind of content that is boosted on all applications - whether YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram REELS. Pure Garbage!
the more they go away from you!
19-20-year-olds have started falsely believing that they're Influencers / Celebrities. I call this Fake Stardom. Kids who have not even come out of their own shells CANNOT influence others.
Getting Popular on an App is NOT Success!
You think that you're getting more and more popular, but realize that you're only getting more and more empty from within.
The Sharing Addiction
Is is super easy to CREATE on the Social Media. No wonder there's so much garbage on Instagram / TikTok. Anybody can pick up their smartphone, and record a video / click a photo and share it.
During my childhood, whenever I achieved the First / Second / Third Rank in class (Mathematics being my most favorite subject), we used to share the GREAT NEWS with our family-friends and relatives. And that used to reach out organically to a few more. A total of 10-20 people used to Congratulate me for the achievement. That used to make me HAPPY and FULFILLED.
Now, if I can share a similar NEWS Online, and get 50 people congratulating me - irrespective of whether I knew those people personally or not - why would I not do that?
- what I call - The Sharing Addiction.
Have you caught yourself thinking about Instagram
when you're not using Instagram?
There are two types of people in this world, in my opinion. No, not the ones Addicted, and other who aren't Addicted. Ones who are Addicted, and others who don't use the Social Media at all. There's hardly any User who isn't addicted.
According to a new study by Harvard University, Self-disclosure on social networking sites stimulates the same part of the brain that also gets stimulated when taking an addictive substance or while having sex. So, if you're addicted to the Social Media, you're harming yourself as badly as a drug-addict. In fact, worse, because your addiction is Mental.
Sharing is Good. In fact, we've heard that Sharing is Caring. However, the need to Self-disclose on a constant basis is harmful, especially, because of the "Virtual Reward" that you are given. This compels you to keep doing that on a repetitive basis, thus, leading to the life of a Social Media addict.
Even the Thought of going back and posting a Story
made me feel GUILTY & ASHAMED (associated with Relapse).
The general meaning of RELAPSE is a deterioration in health status after an improvement / recovery. In the realm of addiction, relapse has a more specific meaning - a return to substance use after a period of nonuse. You feel GUILTY and ASHAMED when you go back to your addiction. I had the exact same feelings on the 4th Day (after having stayed away for 3 days), which proves that Instagram (and other apps) are Toxic Addictions! Don't take my word for it. Try it out for yourself.
Kids on Display
Sometimes, parents & elders put their kids on Social Media Display - purely for Popularity. That's a strict No-No, especially, if you want your kids to have a good, healthy, and positive future.
This Directly, Immediately, and Strongly damages the child's Self-esteem Parameters and Creative Skills. I hope it is clear by now that making Short Videos or Posting Selfies is NOT the real essence of creativity.
Parents should encourage kids to stay as offline as possible, and help them develop interest in as many physical, real activities as possible. That's how kids develop Cognitive and Creative abilities. I am also referring to Manifestation abilities here.
Once they get a good grip on life, and achieve something, they can use the Social Media as a tiny fragment of their successful lives.
Emotional Manipulation by Social Media
According to a survey, 70% of the youth feel more ACCEPTED on Social Media than they do in-person, but is that just restricted to the youth? Or to every user?
Who is responsible for the lack of acceptance that youngsters feel? Their Bad Parenting, Bad Surroundings, or the Social Media?
I can understand a 15-year-old kid who may have lost his parents, who is probably Gay (or confused about his sexuality) and has no friends / relatives due to which he feels unaccepted, but today, every other kid / teenager seems to be feeling this way. This is what the Social Media apps bank on! It has been stated in very reliable sources that Instagram was developed with the intention of Mass Deception!
a. The Need to be more Exciting All the Time
The Social Media Algorithms (including YouTube) no longer show your posts in the chronological order. They show Creators' posts in the order in which they think Followers might enjoy more. So, if someone is following two thousand people, posts that the algorithm thinks are more exciting / stimulating receive a higher ranking, and that's what's shown first (or, basically, shown!) Other posts are either not shown at all, or are shown much later. This is harmful to a Creator, in that his one post receives 500 Likes / Reactions, and another (very similar) post receives 50 Likes / Reactions.
We are Social Beings. Where I was, once, appreciated by just 5-10 family members on achieving something in life, why wouldn't I want 50 people (whether they're closely connected or not) appreciating me? But when I do something and fetch 200 Reactions, and do something else and fetch only 20 Reactions, I tend to doubt my actions. I tend to think that I'm not doing something right. That keeps me engaged to the app, because I want to do something more stimulating / exciting the day after that!
I'll give you my real example. This post [in which I'm naked] has been boosted by the algorithm so much that it has received 600+ Likes (first time ever!). Now, when I post pictures with clothes ON, the algorithm makes me feel that I'm doing something wrong! But you tell me - how many naked photos can I keep clicking? I was 39.5 years old when I posted that naked photo! I don't think I'll do that at 50 - I don't want people to vomit on their phones!
I posted a nice photo of myself in full clothes sitting in my car in a brand new denim (blue) shirt. I think I looked super-cute in that moment (no, I'm not a narcissist). The post reached only so many people that it received 10 Likes - making me feel that something is wrong with me or that photo!
Why do Gay Men need to show their bodies or bulges in order to get popular, when Straight Men are spreading garbage and getting popular without any talent?
You get the point, don't you? The algorithm is designed to play with your mind. If it can play with the mind of a 40-year-old (me), imagine what it must be doing to those of teenagers!
b. The Need to stay 'Hooked On' all the Time
↳ POST REGULARLY: There are plenty of "Instagram Gurus" on YouTube who ask you to POST REGULARLY. That is stressful, especially if you're looking for Growth! People stress over capturing Instagrammable moments (instead of savoring them). And the stress is not about capturing it as much as the thought of its performance once it's posted. Thus, they neither enjoy that moment nor there's guarantee about how their posts will perform. This is not applicable, if you're Instagram's Unlucky Chosen One or already a well-established personality in the real world.
but trying to find a 15-sec piece for your next REEL?
You need to enjoy those trips more than
stressing about capturing your moments
that actually nobody really cares about!
In order to keep you hooked, the algorithm has been designed in a way to give you varied amounts of Views / Likes for each post, just so that you keep trying. The more you check your Insights the more you tell the algorithm that engagement matters to you.
↳ FOLLOW TRENDS: Another reason why people feel the need to stay 'hooked on' to these Apps is TRENDS. One donkey does something, and all other donkeys follow him / her and do the exact same thing. That's my definition of Trends. I'm being mean here, I know, and it's not that I don't / haven't followed Trends. It is fun, but I'm not someone who keeps stressing about Trends. I do what I like - besides, whenever I participate in Trends, my videos get so badly suppressed that they aren't even shown to my Followers
Youngsters feel more important when they receive "lots of" Likes on their Photos and Videos, and there is no end to this. It's an endless loop of greed for something non-existent. That's what these Social Media Businesses target - the low self-esteem that is built into today's minds.
Has technology gripped our minds so much that we feel accepted by something that doesn't even exist in real?
Compulsive Phone Use
Smartphones have already destroyed our Minds and Creative Abilities, and these Apps make use of our insecure tendencies.
How many times you go and check your Content Performance (WhatsApp / TikTok / REELS)? How many times do you go and check others' Content? How many times do you check your Phone throughout the day?
(which is almost equal to the time spent on Social Media)
is indirectly proportional to your Happiness.
I heard a funny term "No-Mo-Phobia" from someone's talk, which is severely present in almost everyone today. Ask yourself, "Can I stay away from my mobile phone for more than 15 minutes?"
Some Apps have confessed that they show Notifications late (under the name of replication / synch), so that users keep coming back to the Apps. That's something that Facebook seems to have adopted as of 2020, as I once observed. My photo already had someone's like, but the notification was show an hour later.
When you spend more time sitting at one place, and less time doing physical activities, your body adopts to your Habits & Behavior, and becomes less active every day. This not only develops laziness, but also leads to physical ailments.
Vulgarity By & For the Youth
Social Media apps are businesses. They want Downloads. They want you to keep the App Open for as long as possible. They would do ANYTHING to make money. Thanks, to the Laws that put restrictions in place, otherwise, this world already be destroyed because of the Social Media.
Take an example - Many people have complained that Apps like TikTok do not ban / censor vulgar content. It is, in fact, boosted. It is my observation as well that a vulgar / sexually suggestive video posted at a specific time gets 100x more Views than an artistic video posted at the exact same time. That's what the majority of the youth is, naturally, attracted to.
Here's an example of a video that is not removed despite it obviously being sexually suggestive, and being reported: https://vm.tiktok.com/JeWXP67/ Since the app is (thankfully) banned from India, there is no way for me to confirm this now.
You are the Creator of Your Life. SEX is as vulgar as you make it, and it is as pure as you make it. It can be depicted using a beautiful, artistic and sweet manner OR it can be depicted in a vulgar, pornographic, and unethical manner. Needless to say what's shoved more onto your "For You" page. These apps don't care. All they want is - attention, views, downloads, and usage.
Obviously, when vulgarity is boosted by an Application, youngsters adopt the same behavior, and start defining to themselves their self-worth based on how much they think their bodies are sexually attractive. Self-Worth gets tied to Sexual-Worth.
Reduced Focus In / On Life
These days, young boys and girls can't even hold a conversation. They're glued to their Mobile Phones so much that nothing else seems more interesting or important to them. I've experienced this personally at Shopping Malls too. Staff is busy watching their phones and not attending to Customers.
Certain "Quick Fame" apps are so addictive that you (as a Creator) want to be on them every now and then - either to check your Notifications, or to check your Social Media Status, or to watch others' content. No matter what you may be doing, a part of your Mind is always pre-occupied with TikTok / REELS - about what to Create next, and what better to do to garner more LIKES and popularity.
by simply using one finger to swipe up for endless content,
why would you want to spend more time
on something else that requires more effort?
Attention span is the amount of time spent concentrating on a task before becoming distracted. On an average, the attention span of teenagers is up to 10 minutes. Short video applications have a direct impact on the reduction of Attention spans in individuals. Teenagers are the most vulnerable. Not that grown-ups are not.
As I've spoken about in one of my videos, I'd been to the Goa Gay Tour in January 2020, when I was seeing a couple of guys CONSTANTLY scrolling through TikTok's For You page - right from waking up in the morning, to going to bed, while eating, while talking. They were hardly doing anything else. I was super-shocked to witness that level of addiction.
The Social Media creates a lot of noise in your Mind.
A noisy Mind cannot manifest properly.
This is how Social Media destroys your Life.
Apps like TikTok / REELS are like drugs. Once you start using them, it is almost impossible to get out - especially if you're young / someone with a low self-esteem. It just keeps sucking you in. This PERMANENTLY reduces your ability to be self-aware, and then getting out of the loop becomes more difficult by each day.
You should see the craze that youngsters have for many Fake (Social Media) Celebrities (also known as Micro Celebrities). If that's what the inspiration is... the quality of the future world is questionable. They aren't focusing on Careers / Jobs / their Financial Status / their achievements / skills. All they want is Popularity.
According to UNICEF, 1 in 7 Indians aged 15 to 24 years feel depressed. Depression is linked to lack of self-esteem, poor concentration and other maladaptive symptoms, and can lead to difficulties in communication, failure to work or study productively, amplified risk of substance use and abuse, as well as suicidal thoughts.
Avoiding Companions / Phubbing
Everything is about people! You CANNOT do away with people, no matter how private, sheltered or secluded you want your life to be. In fact, the Social Media is made in order for us to connect with People only. However, we tend to have completely wronged in the way we do it all.
If you're more interested in connecting with people online than offline, you're heading in a very different direction. It's not about right / wrong. It's just not a satisfying lifestyle.
Phone snubbing or Phubbing is an act of ignoring one's companion(s) in order to pay attention to one's phone or other mobile device. Studies have shown that it is linked to 'neuroticism', a personality trait (in psychology and development) in which a person considers the world as distressing, threatening, and unsafe. Such people prefer sticking their nose in the mobile phone, instead of interacting with those around.
I've often seen kids or teenagers phubbing to avoid those around. I've also seen staff members in shopping stores / malls who are more interested in their phones than their customers. This is not restricted to kids or teenagers though. People who are even slightly depressed or socially anxious tend to be more addicted to their smartphones. Then, they may be part of (probably even administering) many WhatsApp Groups. Remember, it's virtual and passive.
You go to a Party / Get Together, and everyone is on their phones. Why not organize virtual parties, instead? [haha] Now, phones have cameras, these days, so taking them out as mere cameras is acceptable. Otherwise, not. I've personally seen this in Gay Tours as well. Even though I move around vlogging using my phone, I interact a lot with others at the same time.
This is why I, personally, avoid using my mobile phone when meeting with someone, having my own dinner, or when around my family / relatives.
People are overly sensitive to their Notifications. They simply don't know that it's okay to not touch your phone when there's a Notification. They wouldn't even care about the person sitting opposite to them.
Phubbing is not only rude, but it is taking us away from the essence of being in this world. Yes, nobody is going anywhere. Nobody will die if you look into your mobile phone for 10 seconds, but you need to choose how to conduct yourself. It all comes down to that.
Negativity was always present in this world. However, the Social Media has aggravated it by giving every single person an opportunity to consume and / or express it.
You should see the amount of hatred that humans spew on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram (incl. Reels), TikTok, etc. and I'm not just talking about the Common Man. Many Celebrities have become quite negative as well, just because there's an avenue to vent that out. We forget that venting out negativity does NOT reduce it from within. It, in fact, gets practiced, and thus, gets stronger within.
A 21-year-old was arguing with me, and trying to explain how CH*T*YA is NOT an abusive / offensive word. He went to the extent to say that people in Delhi don't take it offensively, but those in Pune do. Another 22-year-old guy said to me that B*TCH is NOT a 'gaali'. Youngsters have started using the F-word very casually. REELS already have MC and BC being openly used in their so-called "comedy" videos. Very soon they'll start saying that MC / BC are not cuss words! I understand Comedy, but you don't need abuses. It is a choice, at the end of the day, as to the kind of person you want to become.
no matter the context / intent. It should not be used.
By hating others - forget everything else - you are, essentially, feeding your low self-esteem, instead of focusing on correcting your inner flaws. That's why I feel grateful for not having Social Media during my teens. I would've not been the person that I am today.
Youth's minds are getting rewired to emphasize more on "looking cool", or "looking sexy", rather than "trying to become a good human being", because that's what the Social Media boosts on their "discover" pages.
Unfairness / Discrimination / Bias
This is a very subtle, and important point to be understood. Social Media Apps are Businesses. They're NOT services as such. They may be free for you, but their primary focus is to Earn Money.
Their primary intention is not to Discover Talent, or Promote Artists. They have their Chosen Ones (often, their own known connections through Contacts or Agencies or those who may be in Bollywood's vicinity) who they promote. While there's nothing wrong with that, they suppress good talent, based on a wide array of Unfair Parameters. ("Unfair" according to whom? That's a separate discussion. )
Just imagine that I open a Gifts Shoppee. What items will I display on the exterior shelf? Good Quality items or items that will attract more customers to my Shop?
I, for example, have had my videos Shadowbanned & Blocked (by TikTok India). The worst day was (11th November, 2019) when I was banned from entering Madhuri Dixit's #EkDoTeenChallenge the day after she joined TikTok. They did not let that video reach Madhuri Dixit (& her team) by simply putting it indefinitely Under Review. I will never forget that day! They have subtly harrassed me. It's not just me. People within and outside of India have complained that Good Videos / Talent is not promoted on TikTok. Need Proof? All that you have to do is watch the videos that come on your For You Page.
Instagram REELS is the new TikTok - even worse. They have a set of Unfair Parameters of their own, and I can write a book on it. They SNEAKILY promote only their (Unfortunate) Chosen Ones in such a subtle manner that you don't even realize the Unfairness. For example - all bad dancers are on the top, and only their chosen ones like Awez Darbar is the only good dancer who is kept on the top! I want to remind everyone that there are other better dancers as well.
None of them are Equal Opportunity Platforms. I count YouTube in this list as well. However, here's a reason why I consider YouTube to be fairer than other platforms: Video Discovery Tips and How YouTube works
You can get to know ap app's maturity level by the type of videos that you see going viral on it.
Sexual Promiscuity among Gay men
Thought of writing this in a special section.
You thought that only Grindr and Blued are Gay Dating Platforms? Instagram outperforms them all. There is a MASSIVE user base of 'men attracted to men' on Instagram. I would say 60% of Instagram's profits are fueled by these 'Gay' men only!
Don't take my word for it. Create a new Instagram Profile as a 20-year-old male, and search 'Gay xxx' (where xxx is your city's name or a big city nearby) and follow 10-12 accounts. Within 2 days you will have a hundred followers asking for your nudes or your Likes. Tried and tested by me!
There are guys jerking off on Instagram LIVEs, sometimes in Groups.
The major problem here is that Instagram is VERY EASY to use. To chat. To audio / video call someone. To share videos, photos, and do everything more seamlessly than Grindr or Blued. That's what makes it a much reliable and a user-friendly Gay Dating Platform.
And guess what, this DOES NOT go against Instagram's Community Guidelines! In fact, it is thriving because of all of these users only.
Result? Obvious, isn't it? This leads to sexual promiscuity at a much faster pace among young Gay boys, who would rather jerk off and feel good in the moment than take the extra efforts of meeting and dating someone!
The guys who you can chat with (virtually) are endless in number, and that just keeps you in that mode.
This is spoiling the Gay culture (especially in our country [India] where things are not yet fully normalized).
Constant Exposure to Unsolicited Content
Human Beings are already wandering. There is already a lot of confusion and lack of clarity and focus.
Above and beyond that, when you watch random, unrelated people doing negative things that you'd probably never do (or never want to do), you bring into your Energy those Beliefs, and draw those kinds of circumstances into your life, by the virtue of the Law of Attraction - whether or not you believe in the Law of Attraction.
For this exact reason I stopped watching Bigg Boss, Roadies, Splitsvilla after the first few seasons! Such shows amplify, glorify, and justify negativity and foul language.
Unsolicited Information (mostly garbage) is available at Fingertips these days. It is Pushed onto your face. You don't need to much effort to "swipe up" using one finger, and - when you keep doing that endlessly - you get distracted from your own Goals and Achievements in life. When you also see someone doing something that you don't necessarily like, you begin to question your own life very subconsciously.
For example, being aware that there are Happy Same-sex Couples in India is good, but - as a 40-year-old Single, for example (or worse, as a 20-year-old Single) - constantly coming across their videos kissing each other or celebrating Valentine's Day may keep you stuck in life - stuck either in a sad mode or in a rebellious mode or in a mode of non-trying - THIS IS DEEP.
People showing their good sides / moments is a good thing, but when you compare that with your own day-to-day bland life, you start self-sabotaging, and that's where the damage begins. You tend to forget that that's not how their day-to-day lives are as well.
Forget about "them" - You get to LEARN A LOT from the Social Media (about places to go to, about the things that you can do, etc.), but that is all that you need to know. That much is enough. Scrolling bottomless pits, and constantly coming across new faces and new desires is over-consumption of information, and that can cause a Mental Blast.
makes you believe less in your own self-worth and well-being.
You don't want to waste years of your life, and then realize that you did.
If you'd like to get in touch or discuss about this, feel free to book a 1:1 Interaction.