Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, I give you: The Invisible Wall. This phenomenon is very unique as it plays upon our own inner psyche, and it is found somewhere accessible to all- your computer. That is correct, your computer. Specifically found within social media. While the invisible wall is not a virus, it does exist, and it can do real damage… although not to our computers. The Invisible Wall’s real damage is what we do to ourselves.
When we look at social media sights, we find ourselves gazing at pictures. Wishing- no, longing for our life to be as interesting as what the photos portray. This, is The Invisible Wall; the unreal display of life on a screen. We want people to look at our photos and say “Man! Their life looks amazing! I wish I lived like that”. And, we experience this feeling ourselves. The pictures we see are not real. Of course they happened, but they are not an accurate representation of what a person’s life is like day to day. If we see a picture of a party, the automatic reaction of almost any person is to feel bad that they did not do something fun, like go to a party. If they see a picture of an amusement park, they wish they could do something as “cool” as go to an amusement park. The Invisible Wall makes us question our own lives, and how we live them; we even begin to question our friendships. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, as damage spreads further into how we see the world.
With smartphones and social media apps, our life has become vastly more complex. We can now instantly see who likes our photo, who comments, and who sees what messages we send. This is usually to our detriment. It has broken the ideas of delayed gratification and patience. Everything has become: I see it now, I want it now, and therefore I must have it NOW! Instagram, while we all love it, is in essence a series of photos meant to make our life appear better than it actually is. Facebook is much the same. People’s eyes are glued to their phone as they have to see what John Doe does next and why his life is so amazing. We are unsatisfied with our own lives and how we live. We reject our friends because they “aren’t cool” or don’t fit into the premade mold that determines an interesting life. We judge others based on their Instagram photos, Facebook statuses, Tumblr posts, and Twitter feeds. When did this become how life is? When did these social media sights take over our lives? I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to frequency of use, but I do not understand how we came to judge everyone else. Everything is based on the pictures we see and the posts we read, even how we view ourselves.
The Invisible Wall inflicts damage in one more part of our lives, the way we see ourselves in a mirror and in our minds. We see a thin girl in her bikini and we think “I want to look like that”. We see people laughing at a party and think “I want to do that”. And most importantly we see something we are not and think “I want to be that”. If we are not doing exactly what we see on social media or anything similar, we become dissatisfied with our life and with ourselves. We want to be more, see more, do more, and look like more. Our image of ourselves becomes completely warped. We hate the image of our bodies we see in the mirror and we hate the way our life drags on. We want to be glorified, exciting, thrilling, fun, and “cool” because that is how we see everything! This is what The Invisible Wall does. It ends real relationships with people, it ends positive views on our friendships and our lives, and it ends how we feel about ourselves being the most important thing. It builds up and we see life the way others want us to, through smoke and mirrors. Making the unrealistic life the most desirable one and hitting home with its damage.
The Invisible Wall strikes daily. We don’t realize it, but we are continuously affected, and not for the better. It reaches us through our phones and computers, wrapping around us with its hyperbolically glamorized moments of daily life. And it’s dangerous to our minds, and to our bonds with people. It has taken over, the screen of social media rules. This needs to change. We can’t stay trapped in this falsehood, it can only cause more harm. So go back to living life! Go back to being in the moment. Not within a two and half centimeter lens, but with fully open eyes and open minds.