It’s not a question that can be answered with such finality, but it is nevertheless a question worth asking.
Is social media making us feel more, or feel less?
One scroll through your Facebook news feed exposes you to so much stimuli and it has only two possible outcomes: you get overwhelmed or you end up feeling numb. A quick thumb gesture allows you to “feel” sad, happy, and excited with one click! It can feel as if this saturation effect where you just see everything as—meh!
There’s so much to process now that it can even endanger our mental health. Our friends’ Facebook photos can make us feel jealous, don’t they? Not always, but do admit that there are times when you feel cheated by life when you see your friends’ picture-perfect escapades. If not a picture of your ex-best friend’s wedding, a bombing in some Middle-Eastern country is sure bound to break your heart. Give it another week, another bombing is reported and you can’t even bother to click share because—what’s new?
The frequency and convenience of sharing information sure is taking a toll on our empathy. One day you want to help every sick kid you come across, and the next—you doubt if that kid even has that odd bone condition stated in the caption.
If we mindlessly let the tides of what’s trending take hold of our minds, we’re bound for neurosis. It’s no longer a question of whether or not social media can make us feel less or feel more, it’s a matter of what we allow it to make us feel. They are, after all, platforms and we should have every right to protect and choose what type of information we ingest.