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Mental Health

Dear World, Is Social Media Ruining Us?

Lather up the poll of emotions—the good, the bad, the oh-so-ugly—but is this conglomeratic effect of virtual relations and facades ruining us? I raise my hand high with the cliff notes of my own reality and say, “Only if you let it, the mind is freaking powerful!”

I mean, we’ve all heard motivational gurus say (insert Tony Robbins voice) you are the driver of your life, you make your realities come true. You have control of your own emotions. Well, in a world where a little flashing app has us bare to the bones leaving our vulnerability confused with true consciousness. Prima, que lo que?

Did you know hundreds of married couples get divorced over social media? No, no it’s not some odd statistic from a BuzzFeed article; it’s the truth. Eating disorders are taking over girls as young as 10 years old. Thousands get catfished online through copy and paste, and suicide is at an all-time high, leaving us sniffing for the answers in some psychological point of view for hope from futurists.

Is it all that bad? As an author and podcaster, I use my platform for awareness and quite frankly marketing—duh—with sprinkled doses of light personal memes and experiences. It wasn’t always like that. I mean, I was all over the Insta and Facebook at one point of my life and noticed loved ones telling me I was addicted or consumed by it. Of course, I blamed it on the algorithms of business. I took a step back, went into my personal rendition of rehab and began to shift my focus. By the way, as I write this, I am guilty of lots of these things in my past, present, possibly future. I am NOT an exception at all, but seriously enraged, intrigued, scared and worried for our mental health and what it can really do to us. Is this classic mind control in another form?

You’ll either love or hate what I have to say, but deep down inside, your inner Felicia will be like “yasss girl, this is so true.” To evolve and to grow is to accept, learn and to appreciate what works and what doesn’t. Most millennials don’t have anything else to compare to because they were born into this social media era, but picture it: Sicily 2019, or better yet Instagram 2019 (did you like my Golden Girls reference?). Lights, camera, action. Do we know how to authentically interact? How about having a powerful debate without chewing each other’s heads off? We trust no one as we see hotbod521 slide in the comments with “hey bae.” Yeah, you know what I am talking about: 30 minutes of explaining to your new dude about an unknown dude sliding in from a suggested follower feed from your old dude that ain’t your dude anymore, but he’s trying to be your new dude. Geez…from someone who’s always in the middle ground of everything, I am beginning to see the side effects of social media. I am starting to see how we question our thoughts, trust, confidence, perceptions, actions, demeanor or reactions to what is said or not said.

What happens when these features take over new phobias, addictions and doubts? We quickly race to debate and support, saying “ahh, nah it’s all in our heads.” Well, is it? Wait, maybe, I have no clue. I am no psychologist, and even talking with some licensed professionals on the science of our thoughts confuses the bejesus out of me at times. The brain is an evergreen complicated, yet so incredibly fascinating all at the same time.

So, my question to you is: Is social media ruining us? Is it blindsiding our appropriations, questioning our character, beliefs and point of views, interchanging opinions for facts or let alone the anxiety that crawls amongst some of us when the notification of a like, comment or share isn’t reciprocated in double digits?

Does it really go down in the DMs and activates our disassociation with mental manipulation? Does it misconstrue our real relationships like face tune filters making believe our Havana tan is poppin’ even in the midst of winter? I mean, primas, I’ve got questions here.

Guess what, this is exactly what the intentions of the creators had in mind. Maybe doing a check in with ourselves is exactly what the doctor ordered. Maybe we should put the phone away; trust me, you’ll have more avocado toast to post in the future. Maybe we should call friends and meet for coffee without checking our phone. Maybe we should enjoy date night and not feel the need to show the world that your relationship is real or not. Maybe unfollow people in real life and online—come on, don’t be fake, either. Maybe we shouldn’t feel the need to go back to school just because Becky posed with her seventh PhD from a school I can’t pronounce. Maybe we should all buy an old-fashioned planner and write important information from the people we care about. I mean, if it weren’t for Facebook, I think most of us would forget our own birthdays. Look, I get it, it’s the way we make money these days. I am not hating on your hustle, prima. Do you, boo.

In the midst of all of this, we don’t realize that behind a screen, people are affected with depression, anxiety, addictions, sleep deprivation, relationship struggles, emotional well-being, social isolation—the list goes on. At the end of the day, we are seriously the only drivers of our life, we can only control what we think is real or not. We go to sleep at night with ourselves and wake up with ourselves. Behind all the hashtag and high-fives, we can deliver that monumental moment of staying consciousness of our heart, our true soul, and not letting social media control our thoughts and feelings.

Please don’t get me wrong, life-changing stories, powerful, amazing blogs and magazines like this one, international awareness, rights movements and incredible current events would not be shared, invented or expressed without these social media outlets. So, prima, it’s not all evil in the pudding of online social connection. I am just saying, you better check yo’ self before you wreck yo’ self. Now, ladies and gentlemen, back to your regularly scheduled scrolling while I jam to “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls” brought to you by TLC.

P.S If you enjoyed this article; I totally want to have a panel of discussion on my Podcast for this topic. Wanna talk? No judgment zone

Email: hello@deargodarewethereyet.com

Like this post? View similar content here: Unfriending Social Media
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by Alicia Sanchez

Alicia Sanchez is a fashion designer, entrepreneur, podcast host and published writer. She has been featured on the Dr. Oz Show, Black Shopping Channel, endless publications and various fashion weeks with her fashion brand before she began writing. Dear God Are We There Yet? a movement to spark conversation about topics in our lives that may make our voice shake or make our souls smile. Let’s talk like it’s 1995; real and in living color.


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