Exit the Matrix: How to Cope with Loss of Self

The Truth About Social Media will not Set us Free

I’ve come to the conclusion that what is seen isn’t what is real. In truth, what we want is to be seen, which gives us the notion that we’re important in some way. This is how social media has marketed itself to us. By allowing us to create reality, we can be whoever we want to be through photos and online posts.

Trolling has become an art form; entire personas built from well-crafted 140 character limits. While human connection has been made simpler, it has only become more difficult. The irony of social media is how people have become more secretive as a result of it.

Belief in anything seems a waste of time when everything is an illusion. Social media has exposed too much. Just a simple look through Twitter and Facebook, I realize people aren’t as real as they claim.

Lifestyles are only lived through Snapchat recordings, and Instagram photos are marketing what we consider beautiful. Who’s the person behind the filters? What’s the real story inside a funny tweet about mental illness? Who are we outside what we put on the internet?

The Fantasy of Human Connection is a Nightmare Made Reality

When people say things like “social media has made it easier for introverts to come out of their shell,” I always find it funny. As this way of thinking would imply that people are nice and kindhearted on the internet.

We don’t have to look any further than the daily tweets of Donald Trump or the long stream of comments under any Youtube video to realize the fault in that logic. The internet or what we call the “World Wide Web” is an appropriate name. We find ourselves so deep into social media, it’s become difficult to escape its entrapment.

Even I struggle with the balance. How much is too much? The hardest part about social media is showing who I am when I’m not even sure who that person is. I ask myself all the time now: does this tweet express who I am or how I want others to see me?

Of course, there’s not much I can do to find an answer. Especially when I see people struggling with this inner turmoil themselves. If only being real was, in fact, reality. We all suffer from some sort of existential crisis hidden within a funny twitter thread about depression.

The Loss of Oneself is Self-Discovery

Posting as a way to prove to people something about ourselves; I guess this is just human nature. Since human existence, we’ve wanted to leave something behind to show that we (at one point in time) existed. Using social media to document our lives, we can make snapshots into movie reels.

A camera allows us to turn a single moment into a story arc. This is the best way I can describe what reality is now: a cookie-cutter scrapbook we want to form into memoir. However, it’s important to realize that a novel is only good depending on what it’s about, not in its number of pages.

So when did I start searching for my purpose in life on Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines? Social media has made a fool out of me; somehow, I thought happiness could be found in online threads. But I must find my own worth within myself.

Validation cannot be depicted in the number of Instagram likes and Twitter followings. Everything that I’m searching for may not be found as easily as a Google search, and I must be okay with that. Of course, this soul-searching is easier said than done—especially when I still struggle to do so.

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