(How have social media metrics affected your sense of self? How have they influenced your understanding of value?)
Connecting with others online through the social media filter, is at once a method of unifying the collective conscious and at the same time perversing it. The reason why social media bothers some people is because everyone is a mirror. Everything we see around us is a reflection of our own inner self. Though this mirror projection usually stimulates reactions stemming from the ego. Once we begin to realize that everyone in our lives and every situation in life acts as a mirror to us, the external no longer affects us. The ego subsides and is instead used as a tool to fulfill one’s life, instead of being something that has reign over one’s true self. This true self is a loving and balancing harmonious state, therefore it creates no judgements, no comparisons. There are no longer any triggers that can control you, you have full control over your reactions to them. Thus, social media and media metrics no longer trigger the ego and you see all people as equal. Since social media is a result of individualization within the internet, these social media accounts are all seen as equal as well. The understanding of value stems from the quality of the content and the voice through which the content speaks. If the content speaks and denotes compassion, love and truth, then the value to the viewer or reader is established as such. In my personal experience, I have felt the negative effects of social media and I have stopped posting on Instagram and have eradicated my Facebook news feed since the beginning of third year. Again, I realize that it was only my own ego that was creating these feelings of negativity when the sites were visited. I instead opted to use social media to engage with conscious media accounts that only greatly benefitted me on a self-reflective journey.
I realized that although ego gratification and stroking is not something I wish to participate in, I respect and have absolutely no judgement for those who choose to engage with it. As I started participating more on social media, there were no longer any triggers, or feelings of inadequacy, whether in comparison to media metrics or content quality. Though I have also gained a heightened understanding of quality content and the true value created by many wonderful content creators. They create content that unifies humanity instead of creating separation through individual self gratification. Ultimately, it is up to us to interpret the signals and messages we are constantly receiving. If there are certain words, images, ideas that trigger emotional responses, we should look within ourselves first, and not judge a particular post, person, or idea as inherently good or bad. It is our judgement that thus creates a belief that can accordingly evoke particular emotional responses. It is my wish for social media to eventually become a means of unification within humanity and the collective unconscious. In Jungian terminology, the collective unconscious is the sum total of beliefs and ideologies that are upheld ‘unconsciously’ throughout humanity. Once we can unify the collective unconscious and filter out the factors blocking us from all achieving peace within ourselves, social media will inevitably continue being an ego gratification playground.