Long before the internet was available; people could watch TV, listen to the radio or read a paper in order to find out what was taking place around them. As a result of this, people were able to find out about things that they wouldn't have known about before these options were available.
One would have felt more connected to the world, as opposed to feeling isolated and cut off. But while one's experience of life was changed through this, it also caused them to experience reality in a way that they wouldn't have experienced it before.
Taking a Back Seat
On one side, one is being informed about the world and this has the chance to increase their awareness. But on the other, one is hearing about the world through another source and not through their own eyes.
This is not to say that others can't be trusted and that one should always be suspicious. What it comes down to is the fact that one is not always going to find out about what is happening, they are going to be times when one finds out about what others what them to hear.
Two people can be in the same place and have the same experience, but it doesn't mean their inner experience is the same. And this is because there is what happens and then there is how one interprets what happens.
So while one could expose themselves to the media and come to believe something about the world, it might have nothing to do with the world. It could simply be a reflection of what the media want people to focus on, or it could true based on how the event has been interpreted.
Through how the news is presented, it is easy to come to the conclusion that one is simply being informed. The news is then like a picture that one might take of a certain area and this means that is purely a snapshot of what is happening.
However, when it comes to what is taking place in the world; it is rarely going to be a snapshot. What it is often going to be like is when one translates something into another language and then back and then back again, and ends up with something that is completely different to the original.
So although one can feel as though they are more in touch with reality, this could be nothing more than an illusion. This is similar to how one could no longer go outside and yet through watching programs on nature, come to believe they are completely in touch with nature.
One is disconnected, but they have come to believe that they are connected. Yet, unless one starts to do cut down on their exposure to the mainstream media (and finds other sources), thinks for themselves and goes out into the world, they're going to continue to be disconnected from the ‘real world'.
A New Source
As time has passed, one can not only end up being disconnected from what is happening in the world, they can also end up being disconnected from what is happening to their ‘friends' and family. Social media has allowed people to be the reporters of their own lives, and this has given them the opportunity to reveal certain parts of their life and to hide others.
One can then go onto their social media account and believe they are finding out about the people who are their ‘friends' and family, but this could be far from the truth. Instead, one might just be finding out about what these people want them to find out about.
There is then what the media presents and how people present themselves. When it comes to the media, the intention could be to make people see life in a certain way, focus on one thing as opposed to something else or to make them behave in a certain way.
How people present themselves could be to influence others in the same way as the media does, but it is often going to be so that they look good. One's intention is then not to manipulate others in the same way the media does, it is to create a certain image.
There is who one is in person and then there is who they are on a screen, and just because one is behind a screen, it doesn't mean they are unaffected by what takes place. In public, one is going to experience certain social pressures and these pressures can also be experienced on social media.
And as one can want to look their best in public, it is only natural that they are going to want to look their best on a screen. This is not to say that everyone is creating a false impression; what it means is that how someone comes across is not always going to reflect reality.
Not only can one find out about what others are doing on social media, they can also find out about what is happening in the world. One no longer needs to think about life or to find out about what is happening– it has already been done for them.
However, when it comes to social media, one is not simply observing what shows up. What shows up on their screen is going to be influenced by what they have clicked on.
Mirroring the Mind
It has been said that people don't simply see things; they see what they expect to see. And unless one expects to see something (and this relates to expectations that they are not aware of), they won't see it.
Social media has then mimicked how the human brain works and this is because a lot of what one sees corresponds with what they have clicked on or ‘liked', for instance. And as Social media influences how one views reality, it is also going to affect how they feel.
The first thing that one can do is to step back and to realise that what they see on Social Media doesn't always reflect reality. To see how what they see on a screen is often appearing because of what they have clicked on in the past.
And while one might think they know another person through what they share, it might not reflect what their life is like beyond the screen. With this is mind, one can see social media differently and not as something that defines their view of reality.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dec 28, 20140
Oliver JR Cooper
Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all... (Bio)