Opinions

But first, let me take a selfie?

Sadia Arshad Written by Sadia Arshad · 1 min read>
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Umm, no. How about you just primarily focus on what you’re doing and try and have a good time rather than fantasizing about how many likes your selfie is likely to score? You’ll live to see the sun rise tomorrow, I promise.

Admit it, you and I are both guilty of some eye-roll-worthy narcissism during some (or most) times in our happy cyberspace lives. Our obsession with the irresistible selfie trend is perhaps the most evident manifestation of our fixation on creating and maintaining (agreeable) virtual identities. Honestly, I do not have a major problem with selfies in particular. The jerk that I am, I even have a good time giggling over some that I come across on my Facebook page. However, what I do find objectionable is our ever-increasing reliance on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to generate identities that we find good enough for others and, in a less convenient manner, for ourselves. How we see ourselves, or the process of self-perception, is the most decisive aspect of personality development. However, you don’t really need some hardcore psychoanalytical skills to be able to observe that this process of self-validation essentially depends on our social media successes more than anything else today. It makes sense because each one of us is as caught up in it as anyone else.

The power of social media in having granted freedom and convenience in innumerable spheres of life is unquestionable. It has this incredible ability to retain communication ties over the passage of time, trigger social and political awareness that extends beyond borders, and advance commerce and technology in ways that few other social utilities can accomplish.

But what it also does is allow addictive and effortless access to customizable identities. What we want the cyber-world to know/believe about us is a matter subject to a personal choice rather than factual reality. In most cases that is a fair bargain. We obviously don’t want to be enlightening the entire human species with our deepest, darkest secrets. But to what extent is such a luxurious indulgence of creating realities that best suit our needs beneficial to our self-image? Actually, the implications are more harmful than beneficial. As we invest more and more efforts into maintaining an impressive online presence, our self-contentment becomes increasingly dependent on the reception this presence receives. Every time you post a picture that is unable to secure as many likes as the girl from school you are destined to envy has, your ego deflates a little doesn’t it? It most definitely shouldn’t. There is no better time than now to tell you this: snap out of it! Regardless of how well appreciated you are “online”, the reality of your identity in the world you “actually” live in weighs far more than that of the virtual world. Every time you measure your worth over the popularity of your latest status or tweet, it questions the legitimacy of your self-evaluation. With or without the aid of your social media experimentations, you matter to others and more importantly to yourself. Take a step back, disconnect, even if it is for a while, and get real.

Written by Sadia Arshad
Sadia wants everything perfect, which is why she reads her stories almost 10 times before hitting the publish button. Get in touch with her if you have any feedback or questions. Profile