Our world today is completely different from the world that we used to live in ten years ago. Ten years ago, when we felt bored, we used to call up our friends and hang out all day, sometimes without informing our parents. We used to meet at one place and decide what we were going to do for the rest of the day. Being an Indian, whenever we wanted to play a match of cricket or anything else, shouting from the bottom of our core was the only thing we knew by which we could call some friends down.
Well, things have definitely changed and now, if someone has to be called down for a party, WhatsApp is the only visible and viable option out there. This is due to everyone having a phone these days that they can fire up to almost anything that they want. If I want a pizza, I can order it from an app on my phone. If I want a plumber at my house, all I have to do is say “Hold my beer!”, open up a suitable app on my phone and summon a fucking plumber at the house. Whereas, in olden times, one would just climb down the stairs and bring a plumber from the hardware shop.
As it’s fairly easy to make out that just because of all these services provided to us these days, more and more people are getting enclosed in the bubble of Obesity. For those who don’t know what being obese means, good for you. But still, obesity is kind of a disease where a person gets fat and lazy and eventually traverses into a mental state of depression. Enter social media, which is unknowingly known as the savior of the world. It connects people with other people who are keen to dissipate the barrier better called as the geographical barrier. No matter how far you are, you can chat, voice call, or even see each other through the medium of video calling.
Well, as you may think, social media too has transformed into something that requires more than connecting with people. Showing off everything to everyone is the new definition of social media. Literally, everyone nowadays tends to put their lives on a plate for display to everyone. For those who go in the opposite direction deciding not to disclose all of life’s details to strange people on the internet, suffer from isolation. They are not imaged as COOL versions of themselves.
Social Media can be counted as a medium which influences users in a positive as well as a negative way.
That brings us to forcefully mention the so-called “Stories” feature on various social media sites. Many apps have been trying to replicate what Snapchat started for itself. But instead, Instagram seems to be the only successful one out there. With more than 90 percent of its users investing their time to share their pictures or statuses in forms of stories.
For those who don’t know, the whole idea of the “Stories” feature on Instagram revolves around people sharing their life experiences. But, indeed it seems like instead of sharing just meaningful experiences, people end up sharing their whole life, which inadvertently opens up certain vulnerabilities in their life. If a girl texts a guy, chances are the screenshot of that chat conversation is already on the internet. If someone’s listening to a song they like, instead of sharing it on Spotify, he/she would cover up their phone cameras so that the video recording appears black and the song is audible in the background, thereby, focusing on the song. Well, it isn’t wrong in any way, but it sure gets annoying when you see those black screens with background songs every other day.
It doesn’t end here. Some people also are enchanted by other’s views on themselves or their character. So, they resort to apps and services like ‘Sarahah’ which is basically an app where users can anonymously comment on a person’s feed. And, as expected; these apps or services are more common amongst females. I’m not being gender-specific here, but females are more prominent in this aspect and tend to gain a better response than most males. However, most of the screenshots witnessed by me which are posted by girls of at least my age contain screenshots from the same app displaying a feed full of dating proposals by desperate boys.
On another note, milkshake, and ice-cream photography is equally popular and more likely to be seen in people’s stories, which, again is okay. But the excess posting of milkshake/ice-cream pictures makes me no longer want to eat them. It gets annoying too fast.
Now, addressing the elephant in the room, following trends on social media is also a popular thing to do when you have nothing worthy to post on your stories. Trends like the fidget spinner, which has no great use, I feel, get the most views. Just recently, Superwoman aka Lilly Singh on Youtube posted a video addressing this issue.
On the contrary, there isn’t just worse things related to stories. They can be used to serve greater purposes too. For example, the stories posted on Instagram by The Verge prove to be a good source of information. It could educate or simply just entertain a person by displaying short snippets of what’s going on in the tech industry or explanation of simple, but mostly, complex scientific enhancements.
In other way, stories on Instagram can also be used to promote a particular brand or a product. Instagram allows users to do that professionally by accepting payments to promote that story. Well, Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, after enabling the stories feature on these apps, has recently introduced the same feature on its own Facebook and the Facebook Messenger app.
To conclude, I feel like the ‘Stories’ feature could prove to be a positive medium to provide entertainment, promote empowerment, and preempt lack of education instead of just proving to be a medium for sharing stupid life sessions.