Teens are significantly more likely to share accurate information about themselves on their social media profiles than they were in the past and yet social media is still increasingly seen as superficial. The more we share about ourselves to the world, the more superficial we are? Perhaps it is the completely visual and 2D aspect of social media that generates this feeling, but there seems to be a bit of a juxtaposition between these two realities.
Pew Research agrees that the increase in sharing — and subsequent lack of privacy — is in part due to the evolution of the platforms that are available today. Social media has evolved and morphed into something that gives the appearance it is more realistic than it is. When it first started the line between reality and online was pretty clear. In the past decade it has been programmed and designed to appear more life-like. I can only assume that if you truly believe social media is superficial it is in part because you were once fooled into believing that it was real life. Remember the concept of sitting around the dinner table with your family in the evening and they would ask you what the best part of your day was? Social media is an amalgamation of “best things” of “best parts of our day”. The representation of your day was not just that one singular “best part”, but does that make you superficial for only sharing it and not the other dozen mundane and crappy parts?
When you pass someone in the halls that you know and you stop for a moment and ask “Hey! How are you?” Are you really wanting to know the answer to that question? Are you really wanting to get caught up in the halls hearing the minute details of their day when all you were looking for was a simple, “Good! You?”
The wonderful thing about social media is that it is just snapshots. It is just “best things”. In a world where you are being overwhelmed with information, do you really wish that social media was less “superficial”? Was less just “Good! You?” We all know those people on Facebook who share way too much. Like no, Juanita, we do not need to read an essay of your day. Every. Single. Day. The Juanita’s of this world get unfollowed because they’re the type of people who you don’t ask how they’re doing as you breeze past them in the first place! You know if you do you’ll be stuck there for 10 minutes longer than you want to.
Now I admit sincerity and realness, is so refreshing. Nobody wants to walk through life with a mask on not really knowing what everyone else is going through. So just as you would occasionally enjoy a good rant, just as a simple “how are you?” is really looking for a genuine answer, so would social media benefit from a little realness. I just don’t think that social media’s imperfect representation of your days makes it superficial.