Social media – a wholesome space to embrace our inner selves or an endless void filled with manipulation that does us more harm than good?
Be honest, like be fr – you probably light a candle and get some book like The Alchemist out at ten pm with the false facade of having a bedtime routine but what do you actually do? End up scrolling for hours through the depths of TikTok instead. It’s fine, I’m sure we’re all guilty in one way or another—but that makes us all victims of something I like to call social media manipulation.
Everything is honestly a delusion. How? Take a think into what you see. All of our TikTok For You pages are somehow magically accurate or in parallel with the lives we live; suspiciously spot on tarot card or horoscope readings, words of affirmation after you’ve gone through a breakup, that sarcastic duolingo bird commenting as soon as you decided to learn a language—its all planned I tell you. Instagram and Facebook too enjoy helping people feed into these delusions by portraying different groups or ideals they can be a part of: the “that” girl morning routine for a hot bod, celebrity gossip like the ongoing feud between Selena Gomez, Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner or even MBTI types and how they act and live life. But why do we end up succumbing to this so-called ‘manipulation?’
Maybe it’s because secretly deep inside we all just want to belong somewhere. Cheesy I know, but I think it’s a valid assumption. In some way or another we’re all trying to fit in and find places, people and groups in which to call home. That tarot card reading makes you feel seen, that Instagram post about ‘new year new you’ makes you feel heard—so on and so forth. It’s like an endless cycle of the media cleverly analysing exactly where these empty spaces are and us falling for this leads to the concept of feeding delusion. I mean, at the end of the day this exploitation of human feeling is probably just one more big money making scheme of capitalism or whatever. Think about the paid online aura readings, personality tests asking for email subscriptions—or even a premium membership, apps and more. In this sense, if we consider social media experts scrutinising trends and then deliberating on content, social media really is one big scheme after all.
But hey, it’s not all bad! I for one enjoy being on racoon and puppy TikTok, seeing multiple edits of All Too Well by Taylor Swift and every single ENFP MBTI post to exist. Social media can help us feel more secure in who we are—appreciating cultures, languages, music, art and more. It’s a place where people can express themselves and find others a click away despite being miles apart to simply relate to. Again, we all want to find that sense of ‘home.’ There is a wholesome side after all.
But maybe next time you’re scrolling through TikTok, remember there is apparently an end to the For You page…I hope you find it…or you know make a start on that impending Week three assignment that I know you will inevitably procrastinate on. Either works!