SenecaMedia Podcast: Social Media and Self-Worth
The popular Television series, Black Mirror is a dark reflection of our society today. It sheds light on certain serious issues that plague our lives today. The episode “Nosedive” is perhaps most relevant to the generation widely referred to as the millennials, and is the inspiration for our latest podcast.
When we think of millennials, we think of progressive young people who have an unhealthy penchant for the technology that is a big part of their lives. But it isn’t simply the technology that is addictive. It is the world captured within more specifically that has enthralled an entire generation of young minds. That world is more commonly referred to as social media.
Social media grew up with millennials and has come of age in the recent times. With the advent of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the world has irrevocably turned digital, and this isn’t necessarily for the best.
That doesn’t by any means speak ill of social media, for it certainly has its merits. It brings the world together in a way that we couldn’t have possibly imagine
d a few decades ago. Our community and our perspectives on the world have broadened and allowed us to communicate with fellow humans, and we have greatly benefited from this.
But there is undeniably a darker side of this phenomenon that is impossible to ignore. Social media has drawn us away from real life, and captured us in a world of aesthetics and false consciousness. We find it infinitely easier today to maintain relationships digitally, and just as difficult to do so in real life. As is the case with any society, real or digital, there is a need for humans to keep up appearances. But this is exacerbated significantly online, given the nature of the digital realm. While the world might sleep, social media is a persistent force demanding our utmost devotion, bringing out a side to us that we barely recognize.
The devotion is largely owing to the ability for online participants to speak freely, and essentially give their opinions on one another through “likes”. The obsession to like, and in return be liked has descended into somewhat of a mania. This need to be validated turns to obsession and brings out an ugly side within us. We turn into whatever it is that will garner us the most amount of adoration in our online circle, making us almost insincere. We become addictive creatures who will spend far to long on these platforms simply because our self-worth has started to be governed her.
The question Nosedive essentially poses is to what extent humans will go to be validated online. Do we lose our essence through online interactions? Can we ever turn back around and learn to be ourselves without the fear of not being liked for who we are? How much has social media taken over our lives?
Seneca College prof Craig Robertson hosts a discussion around this very topic. He’s joined by Public Relations student Arshia Sultan and Radio Broadcasting grad Fayth Starr, who candidly share their thoughts on social media, the addictive nature, and separating their self-esteem from the numbers.
You can also access to the SenecaMedia podcast on your phone using the iTunes Podcast store or Google Play.