Internet Is A Sad Place
And we don’t know how to escape it.
A couple of months ago, I asked you on Instagram to suggest topics for me to write about; the amazing Aya Agourram suggested talking about the effects of social media on our mental health and it took me a while to write it as I had a LOT to say. So here is it!
One of the worst things this generation has to deal with is social media. We literally went through puberty online.
In 2011, I joined Facebook. 10 years have passed and I consider myself an addict, because no matter how hard I try to quit, I find myself online, doing absolutely nothing except wasting my time.
What angers and saddens me more, is how I met most of my friends the same way I lost others. Being active online brings out the best and worst of people. Let me explain.
Let’s say I shared a post about being skinny in a society that preaches on plus-size women, I will either get the support I expected or the hate I feared. This shows me the people I want to get closer to and the ones I need to run from.
I used to be friends with amazing people until they posted or commented on horrible things online. I had an amazing friend who was both talented and kind, until he started dropping the N-word, sharing sexist and racist posts, and making rape jokes CASUALLY online. I wasn’t sad about cutting him out of my life, trust me.
Another person I met online told me once that the internet was a sad place, and I didn’t get what he meant until I was in his shoes and now I can never stop thinking about how right he was. (PS: I lost him too)
The saddest part about this is that we can’t seem to get out of this tangled, messy world. We can’t seem to quit, and I think I know why.
Like I said before, we spent most of our teenage years online. We don’t know any other way to connect with each other. I wish we went back to the time people communicated through written letters and personalized ads in journals.
I tried to erase my online existence so many times, but I always found myself back staring at the screens, hungry for attention. I personally can’t live without the internet, my career depends on it. I write and wait for people’s feedback; I need it to improve myself.
Attention; the other sad thing about the internet. Our confidence and ego depend on how people see us online. We post pictures, share long articles about how amazing our day went, and expect a response, a reaction, a compliment from the people who follow us; they feed our attention-craving personalities.
Something else I hate (I seem to hate a lot, I know) is the ‘Influencer’ term and to whom it’s given. Why are we listening to a person who was born rich talking about how to become rich? Don’t get me started on the ‘beauty industry’, you have no idea how much it fucks up people’s lives as it tries to define beauty and set these absurd standards that don’t match everyone.
You do not know how it’s like to see these UNNATURAL bodies online being labeled as beautiful. It’s what causes body dysmorphia to billions of people (myself included), yet we cling to them for no reason. If you want to love yourself more and be better, unfollow these scamming businesses, yes; they are scamming people and treating them as a business.
Another sad thing about the internet is that it gives people the chance to be hypocrites. At some point, we all shared a lie. Let me elaborate.
Have you ever went far and beyond to take a picture of your already-cold coffee cup? Or a picture of your dark-eyed face and hid the circles with useless filters to show your ‘natural’ morning face? We lie to others and to ourselves as well. We try to get approval from strangers who are far from perfect as well. We want to leave a footprint behind, an impression on this stupid planet, and we use the internet to do that without regarding our mental health.
We all lie online and we know that everybody else lies too, but no one dares to talk about it because if we lose that attention, we won’t have anything else that can fill that void.
Being online ruins our mental and physical health. We spend hours and hours trying to find meaning online instead of going out and enjoying life. We became a virtual population that doesn’t know how to live anymore. And that, my friends, is sad.