Recently, I withdrew myself from all social media platforms, and for good reason. I found myself absorbing so much of everyone else’s lives that I relied on them for every part of me – what clothes I wear, how I talk, what food I like, what movies to watch. How to behave. I was treating social media as a manual or guide, as to how I should live my life!
I don’t think many people realise the effects of social media on their identity until they have stepped out of that world and taken time to reflect on themselves. Around 3.7 million active users in the UK engage with TikTok for an average of 41 minutes a day. Only 41 minutes? I would have to say that’s an understatement – my own friends can stay on there for hours on end without realising what they are absorbing and indulging in.
A funny, actually really sad thing I have witnessed, is how they subconsciously pick up on the TikTok ‘lingo’ and adopt an entirely new persona that changes according to whatever is trending and what celebrity is doing what.
What they don’t know is that they are part of a much bigger problem. Social media allows you to be anyone you would like to be – some might say this is a positive – but really it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It can literally shape you as a person, dictate your entire life, become your lifeline.
In this whole process, the term ‘identity’ seems more and more unattainable. The answer to the question ‘Who are You?’ lies in the depths of your media covered in photos and the deceptions of social media.