The original intent of social media was to connect people, but as more and more users are curating their pages to only show perfection, it can actually be more isolating. The holidays are meant to be a happy, festive time, but if you’re left feeling alone, they can be the most depressing time of the year.
When we see images of others having a “perfect” Christmas on Instagram or Facebook, it can make us feel as though we don’t measure up. Even if you’re happy with your life, you can feel as though you’re not as happy as everyone else.
If the holiday season already tends to make you sad, that can get even worse when looking at how much fun everyone else is having on social media.
One way many Instagram influencers have tried to combat this is through offering giveaways during the holiday season. Being generous has been proven to make you happier. Not only does giving make you happier, it also makes those around you happier as well. The more Instagram followers you have, the more people you can influence with your generosity.
It’s not just individual users who have used this tactic to bring more joy to social media, either. In November, Disney launched their #shareyourears campaign to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Through the use of this hashtag on social media, they were able to raise 3 million dollars for Make-A-Wish.
Another common theme in social media today is perfect imperfection. In an attempt to appear real and authentic, many people post their “struggles” on social media, but these struggles are also often curated.
It’s not all bad news though. Many people do use social media effectively for its intended purpose. Connecting with loved ones who live far away is made easy with frequent pictures and social media posts. For those who don’t live near their family members, they can stay updated and feel connected by knowing what’s going on in their lives. Some families have even taken to social media to share their “holiday cards” in lieu of sending out physical cards.
Nobody posts perfect pictures of their life because they want others to feel bad; they do it because they want to feel good. As much as social media can be isolating, many find that if they do reach out, there is a lot of support waiting for them.