For the most part, the image of yourself that you promote online is aspirational—it’s carefully crafted to garner certain kinds of attention. With our Instagram feeds, snaps, YouTube channels, blogs, and more, we’re really just trying to convince others—and ourselves—that our lives are perfect and worth following. When we hide behind this facade, we can’t genuinely connect with others. No matter how many people we talk to online, the mask we’ve created ensures that communication will almost always feel shallow.
These platforms also play into our fear of missing out: You can instantly see what happened at every event and party that you weren’t invited to. Even if you were invited to an event and chose not to go, you may feel left out as you watch other partygoers interact on Snapchat and Instagram.
On the surface, it may seem like modern technology leads to more social involvement. Social media apps promise to “connect” us with others, when in fact they just foster shallow relationships. Clearly, those kinds of connections just isolate us from others in the real world.