by The Welthi Bureau | 06 JUNE 2018
Human behaviour is greatly influenced by actual, imagined or implied presence of others. When we are in a social setting, it is the tendency of most of us to adopt socially desirable/acceptable behaviours for that particular environment/situation. In a platform like social media, where there is an implied presence of others, we attune ourselves to portray socially desirable behaviour. For example: we try and portray the best version of ourselves in the social media by posting the pictures in which we look the best and less like ourselves, by posting about our vacations or checking into the fancy places. We do all this in an attempt to communicate to others that we have fulfilling life. While scrolling through your newsfeed, the messages that you get from your online “friends” are that they are moving forward and that their relationship is perfect. Due to this constant exposure of the fictional perfect life that we see online, we unconsciously expect the same perfect life offline. When these expectations are not met, it leaves a feeling of envy and isolation (feeling that they are alone in facing misfortunes and the rest around them are progressing).
Presently, we live in a world of digitization where social media sites serve as a predominant tool to share one's views, support or criticize another's. Looking at the bigger reality we can understand that social media has begun to dictate trends, set new norms, gradually creeps into and meddles with our belief system - the definition of beauty, the features of perfect symmetry, the attributes of popularity, traits of desirability, education, purchasing power and the realm of economics, to name a few. Social media is the determinant where the users fall prey.
Behaviour is a reaction, by-product of the thoughts and feelings of a person. With social media exerting an addictive rather hypnotic influence on our thinking, it comes as no surprise that it grips your behaviour. Don't we see people exhibiting a different online vs. offline behaviour? In one of the research studies conducted on personality trait and behaviour on social media, around 50% of introverts stated that they feel that their communication pattern varies from social media to an in person conversation. Like science, Social media can be a good servant but a bad master. The behavioural changes that social media musters could be positive or negative as it depends on the environment (offline and online) and personality traits.
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