Life was much simpler. Fewer distractions and more real contact with people instead of staring at our smartphones. I remember life clearly before social media use, and while it wasn’t perfect, it seemed that some things in the world worked better while others were much slower.
Before Social Media, Life Was Much Simpler
Social media has made the world smaller, but it’s also made it more complicated.
Before social media, people were less connected but more involved in their communities. They had fewer connections online but stronger relationships in real life: they went to church together on Sundays or played board games as a family; they met at bars after work; they helped each other move into new houses or build fences around their property.
Social media has changed all that. Today, we can connect with social media users, anytime, anywhere – which means many of us don’t have enough time for the people we know in real life. We’re too busy connecting with friends and strangers online.
This Has Many Consequences for Society as a Whole
It means that our sense of community has changed, our ability to connect face-to-face with our social networks and share experiences as people in real-time on a social media platform. And when we lose those skills, we also lose our understanding of what it means to be human ourselves – because we have fewer opportunities to use them in our daily life.
You Can Easily Take a Break From People Without Having to Justify Yourself
Social media sites can be addictive, especially when you have hundreds or thousands of friends on your social media accounts who are constantly posting new photos and commenting on your posts. It’s easy to get caught up in this cycle and lose track of time when you’re checking your news feed or looking at your friends’ pictures.
It’s easy to say things on social platforms that you wouldn’t say in person because there are no consequences for your actions. This can lead to cyberbullying, which can do serious damage to a person’s self-esteem and mental health.
Although social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends, family members and celebrities, it’s its downsides. Even if you want to give yourself a break once in a while, there are plenty of other ways you can stay in touch with others without having to justify why you need that time off from the Internet.
When you’ve hundreds or thousands of contacts, it’s much harder to take a social media break. Especially when people show up on Facebook messenger, we all feel like, “I’ve to respond because he saw that I read his message,” and then we try to be polite by saying, “I’m sorry, I’ve to go now.” Before there were social media, we didn’t have to justify ourselves so much. When the phone rang, we just didn’t answer it and no one knew if we were available or not. Instant messaging has changed our social interaction style.
Your Messages Weren’t Curated by Your Friends
You don’t get your messages directly from the source of your choice. You’re also getting them from your friends on social platforms. Your Facebook Instagram feed, Twitter mentions, and Tik Tok videos are the sources most social media users get their daily news. The problem with social media is that the platforms can’t manually verify everything, which can lead to a lot of fake news.
But Before the Late 2000s, We Had to Look for Real News Sources Ourselves – and That Meant Reading Newspapers or TV Instead of Scrolling Through Our Feeds
If you wanted to know what was going on in the world, not just what your friends were posting online, there were many trusted sources: CNN was one, ABC News was another, and so was USA Today. All accurately reported the important events happening around the globe every day (or at least seemed trustworthy if you took them at face value). But today, many social media users believe many sources of information, and populism has evolved from social media marketing.
Today, it’s much harder to know if what’s being reported is factually accurate – or even true! For us digital natives who grew up with social media platforms, it’s hard to remember how different things were twenty years ago.
You Could Live in the Present Moment
As I mentioned earlier, it’s not just the Internet that’s changed the way we interact with each other – it’s our phones, too.
Our Mobile Phone Is Always Within Reach, So We Can Check Them at Any Time
We can’t help but look at our phones every now and then to see if a new message has come in, if someone has liked our Instagram post, or if something interesting has been posted on Facebook.
We’ve become slaves to our phones and therefore miss many things from the present moment (outside of our phones).
Think about how many times you looked at your phone in a single day and multiply that by 365 days in a year. That’s a lot of time, even if you only check one social media account a day. Think about what you could do with that time!
And it’s not just the distraction itself that’s the problem – it’s the time we spend with these devices that makes it so hard for us to focus on anything else for long without getting antsy and needing another sip of whatever we’re consuming.
There Were Fewer Models of Success
In the days before social media, the world was much less diverse. There were fewer models of success, and people were being themselves rather than trying to show off their success. That meant you could be happy with what you had because there wasn’t an expectation that everyone should have a six-figure salary, live in the perfect place, or have a perfect body.
You Didn’t Have to Worry as Much About What You Were Wearing
In a world without social media, you didn’t have to worry about what you wore. Most people didn’t think of wearing colors that didn’t fit with the landscape – and instead on being themselves. Since the influencers’ boom and marketers’ rise, many internet users, especially women, feel like they need to impress with their wardrobe and spend a huge amount of time taking selfies from their mobile phones.
That’s Not to Say That Style Didn’t Exist in the Pre-Social Media Era
There were fashion trends in the 90s and early 2000s, for example ( who can forget those oversized flannel shirts?). But these trends were limited to certain styles and subcultures and looked different than how we define them today. The rest of society didn’t have to conform to a certain style, they could just wear what they felt comfortable in and be themselves!
Before social media, you could wear your favorite jacket to multiple parties, but today, with social media, it’s like all the parties you attend are in one place.
It Took Longer to Get Connected
Life before social media was much slower and more relaxed. If you wanted to network with someone, you’d have to meet them in person, spend time with them, talk to them and listen to what they had to say.
In the Beginning, Social Networking Was More of a Personal Experience Than It’s Today
Before the internet and social media, people had to spend more time interacting directly with other people to build a relationship or learn something new about that person’s life or interests (or even just get their contact information).
Meeting a Certain Kind of Person Was Costly
Before social media existed, meetings tended to be by social class. For example, if you couldn’t attend an event, you weren’t able to connect with a certain social class of people. With social media, anyone can get in touch with anyone.
For example, I’m part of a virtual reality group that includes Mark Zuckerberg, who occasionally interacts with the audience from his social media account. Anyone can be virtually accessible, which used to be much more difficult, especially for celebrities because it required a lot of planning and security teams, and it’s also almost impossible for people in the community to attend exclusive events where a famous person is present without an invitation from an insider in their social network.
Also, you’d have to travel to another city or country or go somewhere that wasn’t in your neighborhood. You’d have to pay for hotels, restaurants, and transportation. The time you spent traveling was also lost to other things you could do at home – and if you didn’t save money ahead of time, you’d to take out a loan or apply for a credit card with high-interest rates.
There Was Less Anxiety
The age of social media networks has given us a multitude of reasons to be anxious. The pressure to be connected and available all the time is intense, and even if you feel like you’re not living up to your full potential in your professional or personal life, there’s always the possibility that someone else is doing better than you in some way.
As if that weren’t enough social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter have become hotbeds for discussions about politics and social issues, making it easy for people to take sides on controversial topics without learning anything from each other.
Before social media, there was less anxiety overall because people weren’t constantly comparing themselves to others; the lack of urgency was helpful when it came to scheduling things because there weren’t countless social media apps’ notifications pushing them forward at all hours of the day (or night).
Scammers Had Fewer Opportunities to Find Victims
You didn’t have to worry about scams, viruses, and malware that are so prevalent on the Internet today.
Since there was no social media usage, it was also harder for scammers to reach potential victims; if you interacted with someone face-to-face or on the phone, it was harder for them to lie or find your personal information.
People Were More Themselves
Ask a friend or even a stranger how often he or she thinks about how other people perceive him or her – what his or her image is. Most of us will be able to give you an answer without giving it much thought: “I’m a nerd” or “I’m shy” or “I’m outgoing” or whatever fits our self-image as we see it in the eyes of others.
When you’re not hiding behind a sophisticated mask of cultivated perfection and constantly worrying about how you look to others, life feels more authentic and less stressful because you’re acting naturally instead of desperately trying to control your image at every turn!
The World Is More Connected Than Ever Before
Social media has changed our lives. But it’s not all bad. Much of what we do as a society today is based on social media and its influence. We’re more connected than ever before, but that doesn’t mean we’ve to be overly concerned with what others think of us or that we’ve to present ourselves perfectly all the time.
With so many platforms available to us to express ourselves in different ways (text messages, emails, blogs), we shouldn’t feel pressured to be someone else just because he or she’s popular online or offline these days. We can also communicate with people on the other side of the planet without spending a dime on phone calls. I remember when I traveled around the world, I was often overwhelmed by my phone bills when I called home. Today you don’t even need to know the phone number, one click and you can call anyone anywhere, anytime for free.