Detachment from reality: when lies become the “alter ego”
Internet sometimes gets me. I’m having nausea after looking at Facebook stuff for longer than 5 minutes.
The understanding of being honest is so much distorted that I’m quite happy I could grow up without any internet. Without a need to constantly compare myself to others. Without a need to watch and analyze the reactions of others or lack of them. It feels totally absurd to me when I am seeing how much time is spent on self-analysis and self-observations. Some people analyze every single step and every single thought they had during the day, but it does not stop there. They analyze the social media reaction to every line and picture they have posted, and it is not surprising they come to conclusion there is something wrong with them quite frequently. Everybody would be convinced about the same if they kept endlessly analyzing everything and drawing conclusions which actually do not have any reason.
Does this relate to the obsession with selfies? The obsession of creating oneself in a way one doesn’t exist and would like to be perceived? The Internet certainly allows for that: one can create their online image and live with it until there comes along somebody who discovers they are not what they are pretending to be. I believe selfies and self-love; self-admiration; self-magnification and self-analysis are symptoms of the self-glorification epidemic. These are sprouts of the same root. How is it even possible one has so much time to take endless selfies, edit them, publish them, then follow-up on every single comment? Or just post in bunches whenever there is a chance to take out the phone. Afterwards, they quite often feel totally dissatisfied, disappointed and unhappy since there are so many others doing exactly the same and steeling their deserved love and admiration.
This is so phenomenally silly that it is fairly hard to get why anybody would want this to happen. Why would we want somebody else to define who we are, how we are, and sometimes even deal with awful misconceptions? What is the point to rely on somebody else’s judgement who most often does not even know you?
Whenever I’m reading about somebody’s struggles, I have to admit our struggles and sufferings are really suited to the greatness or nothingness of our personal perception. It is obvious that difficult and intolerable has hundreds of interpretations. Once I heard some famous girl telling on TV that it was such a disaster for her to choose the correct nail polish. One rich and famous person told she was facing extreme difficulties and hardships choosing outfits, it took like hours to choose a dress. Wouldn’t that be excellent if the most difficult thing I have to deal with was choosing an outfit?
What really strikes is that most people assume life is supposed to be smooth as an ice-cream in a cone.
That is the wrong message from social media. Things don’t change just because we call them differently. Cabbage does not become a rose if we call it “rose”. Some pictures so obviously scream “Like me, like me, like me!” Do I? Not really, and I do not post any likes under pictures if I think the look is rather bad than good. I usually avoid commenting on family pictures or other personal photos.
I was also reading how somebody thought they were ready now to fall in love, so this should have been happening shortly afterwards. They were very disappointed when it didn’t. It seems nobody told them it is by far not enough to write on the wall: I am lovable; I deserve love; I am beautiful, so on. Love is the most complex chemistry and it has so many ways of expressing itself. It never comes when we are asking it to. It’s more unpredictable than winning a lottery. The winner is rare and the time when this happens is unknown. Just like all good things in life. It is too bad there is so much fake stuff out there.
Addiction to social media and devices causes extreme detachment from reality and distorted evaluation of actual matters. Overrated and overpraised nothingness means nothing, as well. I’d say be careful with compliments. Be realistic towards yourself. We are so different, because our DNA is unique, our life, love and happiness are unique. Do not allow anybody to tell you who you are, what you should like, love or go for.
20 thoughts on “Detachment from reality: when lies become the “alter ego””
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I had trouble with this post because I am a big user of Facebook, just so that we can keep in touch with family. I love seeing pictures of little ones having fun with their parents that we ordinarily would not see. Yes, there are many selfies with lips puckered up that make them look like unattractive ducks and some with foul language which just are ignored, they do have a free speech right that makes them look stupid at times, but I take the good with the bad. I admit there is an overload at times, but I’m always amazed at how we can communicate with people all over the world, without a significant charge!
Well, I always use Skype to communicate with people far away since all my family is in Europe and I am in Canada. That’s totally free of charge and plus you can speak to them directly and see them. I’m seeing no harm when people stay in touch with their relatives. I’m talking about the trending mainstream. The same goes for Twitter. I was not meaning this as relevant to somebody’s personal circles. The main trend is illusions about some idealistic selfie. You would be surprised to what lengths people go in order to get self-pictures polished and attractive: from special apps to Photoshop and filters, so on.
The danger with posting anything is to be misunderstood. There are too many all the same over-sweetened messages on Facebook which teach or tell nobody anything. I’m in very many groups in order to move art, so I’m seeing all kinds of nonsense and that is all narcissism driven. The current research finds that obsession with creation of self-images is already a sign of mental disorder.
Pictures of small children along with the chance to find their addresses and location which is incredibly easy for people with computer literacy shouldn’t be placed anywhere where there is a threat these pictures get used by the wrong people. There is still e-mail which allows to send a picture or message to many people with one click and like I said there’s Skype, Facetime on the phone and similar tools.
We all want to share our superb achievements and our bright moments, it’s just so that this has to be directed to people who are interested in it and who belong to our circle.
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Very interesting and sad that people do go to extremes to polish up their images that aren’t themselves. I guess I’m just a little country bumkin, living in a world of believing that honesty is the best way approach life. thanks again Inese.
Well, lots of stuff on the Internet isn’t necessarily true. There are people who advertise themselves and people who advertise their products and use for that not the most honest means. Taking videos of disasters and not helping affected people has become quite normal to some. Well, and celebrity pics are all edited and polished, that’s why young girls shouldn’t try to look like these, because, why? It’s all appearances and designed to achieve more popularity and followers, that way.
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Well stated! I stay on FB to keep up with a few friends and relatives that I would not otherwise have contact with. Skype and e-mails work for those close to me. I don’t understand the need to constantly post every little bit of trivia! But I pick and choose and sometimes get nauseated too!
Thanks! Many of us stay on Facebook for one or other reason. I actually need to make people aware of my classes. Facebook doesn’t help much people who are not celebrities. Likes and followers depend on how much money one can spend. Each boost comes minimum to 7 bucks, that is not that large audience and, quite honestly, even when somebody likes my page or painting image doesn’t mean they are going to be in class or buy painting. I use Skype to talk to all people who are far away and Skype doesn’t cost anything, I can see them all and it feels like they are straight next to me, I use video chat.
I do get nauseated when I see all the wrong highlights and many wrong things being trended. I dislike the pressure social media put on everybody because there are no must haves, no must sees and no must buys. We all are different, so should be our needs.
It is hilarious when I see how somebody with more financial weight or more TV screen time gets adored for realistically nothing.
Thanks for stopping by and for the comment! I really appreciate that!
It is interesting, because I too was prompted to write almost the same thing. Sharing the name must have some esoteric connection 🙂 Anyway, I couldn’t agree more, and I am sick of the media telling me what I should think and do. Even if they are right, it doesn’t matter. I will figure it out somehow with my own brains. I am for education, not manipulation.
Thanks! Exactly, and we want to maintain our personality and individuality instead of becoming a global faceless, tasteless and senseless somebody!
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Terrific blog! I am too glad I didn’t grow up with social media. I might have been that person posting dumb selfies. My daughter posts a lot of selfies but she does add a positive quote to it so not quite as bad. I think. 🙂
Thanks! Well, we all could be that person living for and because of selfies. It’s good your daughter keeps it somewhat reasonable. However, I have definitely stopped liking posts featuring small babies and kids, and the main context is: look at my kid! There are also lots of people who have placed instead of their own picture some baby face. It’s hard to say, kid of this parent? Way too long lasting childhood? Somebody stayed forever in early childhood? Neither one is good. Balance would be great. Some thin line. It is quite difficult to say when social media and screens become obsession and addiction.
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Very true. I cut down on posting of my kids and where I am at. World is getting too scary. I even took Facebook off my phone! 🙂
There was a documentary on TV about the way Facebook tracks its users and collects data. I’m sometimes thinking about kids who grow up and run for some high position and then some other guy publishes an ancient picture with that former kid in strange or humiliating settings. Even when we delete something from the blog or our posts on social media, it only appears as deleted. In fact, it’s all still there. I tested and all the deleted entries and images were accessible through Microsoft Edge or Google. Many people are being very negligent with their personal info. It doesn’t really matter what settings one has set, it does not prevent any sensitive information from leaking. I would say, keeping social media profiles low is a good thing. I basically use my FB for sales of paintings and that type of activity. There are way better ways to stay in contact with relatives. Why to give all our data to some profilers and advantage takers? They already make good use of data collected based on person’s likes. It is assumed that person this or that will like this and that, and that way when they put together our daily thoughts and comments with any other all around scattered bits, the picture is clear. Most of devices track us and track our activities, as well as location.
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Great post, I do believe that there is much more self-glorification (especially) in Social Media now, with many people who are more focused on their appearances. As a 19 year old, I do feel that young women now a days are even more pressured to look a certain way. I feel that it can be deceiving when many of the things we are exposed to online have been edited in some way big or small. Thanks for sharing a very thoughtful post
Thanks Katie! I think we always want to look our best. However, it doesn’t mean to go for huge lengths and dilute our real identity. I also think one has to be very careful how they represent themselves on social media. Let’s say, one is very young now and they try to simply attract followers and gain appreciation, but they do this with wrong means, like showing off some wrong sides or in a doubtful way. 10, 15 or 20 years pass, they run for congress or apply for a responsible position which includes lots of competition. At that moment, somebody publishes nude photos from this person’s past, long time ago past, to win the competition. Privacy settings on the Internet do not provide with such a privacy that one believes they do. We have to keep our personality intact without pleasing all new trends which appear.
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Very true, I wish more people had this perspective. Anything that has been posted onto the cyber world, very often stays, even if it is deleted. It’s a bit scary to know that any information could be seen by anyone, which is why, as you said, we should be careful how we represent ourselves on social media.
That’s why we have the ability to decide what are the features which define us and what we want to show others. I think, doing this selectively is a good start.
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Thank you for writing this. I’ve been studying the psychological effects of social media over the past year as well as the ways in which sites like Facebook are designed to generate addiction, etc., and it truly scares me what these sites are doing to people. It’s as if the world is becoming a virtual popularity contest, as more and more people are being programmed to outsource their self-esteem via social media and, essentially, trade their inner peace and sense of feeling content with oneself for attention and “likes” under the guise of self-promotion. These sites are literally warping people’s perceptions of reality. I read a study not long ago that showed that Facebook is generating “aggressive narcissism.” Studies have also shown that it causes anxiety and depression and raises people’s cortisol levels (stress hormone). I think it is becoming increasingly important for people to be aware of the affects of social media as well as how it is designed to literally program people’s behavior. One of the original founders of FB recently said that it was specifically designed to “trap people in a social validation feedback loop.” So many people have become so programmed by Facebook that they have lost the ability to perceive it with even the slightest bit of objectivity, as they have been conditioned to consider it as essential part of their lives, when in truth, we have gotten along just fine without it throughout most of history. I think the trick is to control it, rather than letting it control us… and yes, to stay grounded in reality, as you said.
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Thanks so much for commenting on this post! It was quite a while ago when I wrote this, and my attitude towards social media has not changed one small bit. As an adult who has life experience on two sides of the ocean: in Latvia, Germany and since 2004 in Canada, I can say that the difference between the European side and the North American side is quite large. I could say North America is extra addicted with social media and, yes, they are definitely controlled by social media. People depend on most of their lifestyle and habit choices literally on social media and buy a lot of stuff which has been endorsed by popular people, but has no real value, no real importance, but only the one which is proclaimed on social media.
It is so that mental disorders have increased to an abnormal extent since people started to relate their self-assessment and self-value with the number of likes and extent of involvement on social media, putting it simple: this guy has 10K followers, he must be great, I have only 100 and that says that I am some kind of a subhuman, that way.
At the same time, it is the best tool for corporations and big outlets, as well as unfair people to put our their very subjective point of view and impose it on others. People frequently forget that the base for lots of competition and fight for domination is simply money. The goal is making profits and the target is the person who does not have a clue why or what for they’d need some health product or some lifestyle change.
It is too bad that the really has become 100% distorted.
Well, I don’t watch TV any longer, haven’t for some half a year already. The Canadian TV consists of repeated shows, old movies and news that are disrupted every few minutes by commercials. Basically, it is all commercials and very biassed news which convey only one point of view: the best paid for. There is zero objectivity in any of this.
We are obviously heading in a wrong direction, but there is no way to get the message through.
Well, I’m looking for a way to prove the brain fitness success using artistic tools in a controlled environment. I know it can be done, but I’d need some kind of sponsors to record analytic data and register all symptoms and changes in the brain activity.
Thanks again for stopping by!
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