While peace of mind is desired by most people, it can be elusive if you are constantly using social media. This is also the case if you follow the mainstream media, where negative news dominates the timelines.
I stopped actively following the news for this reason, because I do not find any benefit when my evening starts or ends with the information that a young man butchered his brother in a remote part of Kenya, followed by the information that a child died because a certain clinic in another remote part of Kenya lacked syringes. I know such things happen everyday but having to know about them every evening is not good for my peace of mind.
But I still use social media, and its effects seem to be worse.
Demons of Social Media
Social media has exposed some very dark sides of people. As soon as you log in, decency logs out, and you are exposed to some of the worst of human beings.
You are fat. You are short. You have a big forehead. I wish you were aborted. Stop using your head only as a cover for the neck…
Those are mean words to use in life, but not on social media. These are some of the posts that get likes and shares. People have pledged allegiance to violence and hate. They attack one another. They say mean things. They post profanity and insults. They insult innocent strangers and demean people they have no idea what they are going through.
They shame the poor, and the next moment, they promote mental health forums. It’s a paradox but who cares? That is social media.
Social Media exposes the lowest of the low.
It is not just the demons of social media that traumatize me. It is the many applauders who seem to enjoy the violence.
There are people who are there only there to fan violence, then sit back to enjoy the wildfire. Those spewing venom end up with likes and followers. Because they cannot see and relate to the human beings behind the username, they find it easy to insult and attack.
They join the hate wagons even when they do not know what is happening. If an influencer insults you on social media, their bloodthirsty followers will follow through and bring it to your inbox.
Intelligent and Arrogant
We also have intelligent people who seem to have everything but empathy. Armed with wits, superior knowledge and cosmic pride, they demean and shame. When they see foolishness, they go ahead to highlight it in order to clear every doubt that the person is a fool. They show little grace or empathy. They thrive by demeaning.
Making Social Media a Positive Experience
There are the good sides of social media, but it does not come automatically. One must use it objectively, but I am yet to figure out what counts as objective.
I can block, I can choose who to follow, I can log in only when necessary, and I can mute some topics, but it is hard when some of the work you do depend on social media. The worst part is when you start acting like the people you dislike on social media.
I can relate this with what happens in real life. You can choose a good neighborhood where you are isolated from muggers, thieves, noisy people or just the people you do not like, but you cannot completely cut off the world. It is impossible.
Some part calls for one to flee, another one calls for one to have a thick skin.
It is not easy.