Social issues

In the name of staying relevant

With an average of 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram every day, it’s a telling sign of the individualistic nature of our contemporary society and how content creation holds reign.

In a generation where Facebook tags and YouTube videos override news and current affairs, it’s more important than ever to examine what consumes our youth. There’s no denying that with an influx of technology comes an insatiable demand for content.

Scrolling through one’s Instagram posts is a go-to for most millennials, and refreshing one’s feed to no avail almost seems like a taboo. Gone are the days where online social platforms maintain their purpose to help users feel connected – the phenomena of infinite content and self-branding are on the rise, and users are growing increasingly distant.

Yet, this isn’t just exclusive to famed online influencers and the empire they’re constantly seeking to build and feed. For some, a glorified and curated Instagram feed is their bread and butter that they’d be devastated to part with.

This toxic cycle of creation spurred by social media is even evident in the art we choose to create. Each and every one of us has fallen victim to posting just for the sake of it.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with self-expression or creativity, healthy doses are always encouraged. Overly edited and constructed selfies are definitely a far cry from works centuries ago. Seamus Heaney taught us how to admire the intricacies of nature, and film photography taught us to live in the moment.

But social media? It’s teaching us how to succumb, as we subconsciously attempt to present the best versions of ourselves.

By convincing us to see life through rose-coloured glasses, social media has effectively clouded our perceptions of what it is to be human. So if you’re churning out picture-perfect content in the name of staying relevant, this is your wake-up call.

Step outside your solipsistic frame, step out the door, and step away from the confines of your phone screen. Explore a context other than your own.

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