Instaggression – How Social Media Is Affecting Our Lives

Instaggression Social Media

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This story has been submitted by Mahnoor Abdul Basit

“I wish I could buy the dress she is wearing.”  “I am ugly, look how perfect she is.” “Why can’t I travel like him?” “I wish I had abs like his.” “My life sucks, I am a loser.”

With the rise of social media, such thoughts have completely occupied our minds. I can bet social media has made you think one of these phrases which then constantly disturbs your mind.

Behind the glitz and glam of the “Insta life” we all are normal human beings who live real, normal, and imperfect lives. Today majority of us suffer from what I call as the “instaggression” – the Instagram depression that turns into aggression on social media.

We all dream of living the perfect life by looking at all the celebrities and influencers on social media creating instaggression. We want to have the perfect house, the perfect skin, the perfect body, and even a perfect partner, and the never-ending list continues but the reality is that life is never perfect, it was never meant to be. It is our imperfections and struggles that make us who we are.

Social Media
Image: Reuters

Social media has made us delusional and we strive day and night to be perfect but this constant pressure is killing us from the inside and sadly we don’t even realize that. Under this pressure we are losing all that we have- our mental peace, self-confidence, loved ones and so much more.

This is a prevailing social issue that is affecting nearly all of us. The “deceiving social media life” has led to a high increase in depression, family issues, and even suicide rates.

Being in a Pakistani society we already live under so much pressure and social media has made it even worse when it comes to instaggression. It has led to many “unrealistic expectations and unfulfilled desires” that have put people, especially youngsters in severe depression. They are unable to realize how hard their parents have to struggle to provide them with the possessions and lifestyle which they flaunt on social media just to gain appreciation in the form of likes and comments.

Little do we realize that social media is a platform that was created for socializing but unfortunately it has been transformed into a “competing and comparing” platform where every day we constantly compare ourselves to one another in every way possible. This comparison has disastrous effects on our lives. It leads to unrealistic expectations, unnecessary arguments, and fights that destroy relationships. Just because XYZs husband gifted her a diamond ring and yours didn’t doesn’t mean you start arguing and destroy your precious relationship. We all are blessed in different ways so there is no need for comparison.

Moreover there are many people who are burdening themselves with loans in order to pay for the lifestyle which they cannot otherwise afford. They are doing this only so that they can keep up and flaunt among their friends and peers. But we need to ask ourselves is it really worth it?

Many youngsters are losing their self-confidence and doubting their self-worth because social media has set unrealistic standards in terms of looks, material possessions and others. Rather than focusing on being productive they are constantly trying to meet these standards and make themselves “insta worthy. “Please understand the number of your followers or likes on your pictures do not define who you are. You are much more than that.

Also as a result suicidal rates have also increased as people who are unable to cope up with this pressure find it easier to end their lives. This is how social media has been impacting our lives without us even knowing.

Image: Reuters

Recent suicide by famous celebrities and Pakistani bloggers show us that life is not as perfect as it seems on social media. We fail to realize that what we see on social media is what people want us to see. We never know what happens behind closed doors. You don’t know the pain, agony, hard work, and struggle a person is going or has gone through.

Also make sure that when you compare yourselves to influencers and celebrities on how “pretty and perfect” they look, you do realize that there is a lot of effort that goes in there including makeup, lightning, editing etc.  and it is a part of their job so it is not at all fair that you compare yourself to them. I also encourage influencers and celebrities that they should also convey this message to their followers and give them a dose of reality so that they are not deceived and this misunderstanding is cleared.

So please don’t starve yourself when you see a model with a perfect body, do not complain when you see a friend having a fancy meal, do not doubt yourself when you see an acquaintance getting a better job, do not feel worthless when you see a happy couple- do not put yourself or your loved ones under any unnecessary pressure.

Try to understand that life cannot be picture perfect”. Facial scars are real, breakups happen, failures and mistakes are common and depression is real. There is nothing in this world as perfect. It is our imperfections that make us who we are. Do not put yourself or your loved ones under pressure or constant stress because of what you see on social media. Always remember that what you have is more than enough. Be grateful for the things and the people around you.

So the next time you see someone better than you on social media, smile and hit the like button and know that you are better in your own way. Appreciate others and most importantly your own self because you are worth it.

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