What happened to us?

Nowadays, everything and everyone feels fake. Most people, including my friends, spend most of their day sharing every moment of their lives to get likes. Some of them are so extreme that, they don't care about the moment, but the likes they get because of that moment. They forget how beautiful life is, and how it can mean more than some likes. They prefer artificial things that they don't like but others like, instead of things that will make them happy. They don't have their own standards but follow society's standards without thinking about it.

They're getting obsessed with politics, celebrities, and other things. When you try to show and explain how absurd and obsessive their behaviors are, they get mad and get support from other people like them. They don't accept other opinions that will prove them wrong.

I can't remember the beginning of the 2010s completely, but I think social media wasn't consuming people like this. At that time, everyone was using Facebook and MSN. They were sharing a couple of pictures and 'cool' quotes. That was it. I don't remember a single person spending hours on Facebook, and making it their whole life. People weren't obsessive with celebrities like this too. They used to share pictures of them and put posters of the people they love in their rooms. Nothing more than that. But now, these people are literally acting like cult members. Treating celebrities as gods, and blindly following them.

I'm 19, and honestly, I feel like an outsider. Even though I'm not an introvert or an ugly person, I only use Twitter to keep up with the news, and Instagram to see what my friends are doing. But, other than that, I don't share any pictures or tweets. Most of my friends can't even believe that the sole reason I don't use social media is because of my choice.

I used to think that life was only black and white, good and bad, but it's not true. I realized that there's a gray, neutral area that most people should be in, but instead of being there and choosing to be reasonable and logical, people prefer to be extreme on two different sides.

Do you think social media made these people dumber ? or were they always like this?

Please, share your thoughts.

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Comments (48)

Jan 31, 2022 - 12:28pm
Fast and Fiduciary, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I feel lucky that the group of friends I have don't care about wearing designer clothes, going to the most expensive restaurants just so we can post on Instagram that we were there, and trying to show off in general. We do and talk about things that we genuinely enjoy and aren't trying to impress other people because we just don't care. 

I live in Miami and the points you have made I have most clearly seen among girls here. Whenever they go to a nice restaurant like Komodo, they have to make it a post on Instagram, and in that post, they have to make sure that their Cartier bracelets are showing and their Dior shoes and Chanel bag. 

It's often hard to tell if people who make posts like this are genuinely interested in design and fashion and are sharing their interests, or if they are just trying to make themselves appear to be "better" or "richer" or whatever.

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Jan 31, 2022 - 8:48pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Bro Miami is a brutal place to be if you want to avoid fake people. The only worse place I can think of is LA

Given this challenge, how did you curate a friend group that is fairly insulated from all this? And how then would you apply that to dating, can imagine that it would be super challenging in Miami?

Jan 31, 2022 - 8:57pm
Fast and Fiduciary, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I made a post a few months ago about my experiences living in Miami. I'm originally from a small town in Rhode Island and then I went to University of Miami for undergrad. It was a huge culture shock when I got there and for a while I was considering transferring just because it was hard for me to make friends who seemed authentic to me. I started dating my girlfriend in my Junior year but shes a super rare type of person. She comes from wealth but isnt the type of person to care to show it off. 

Feb 3, 2022 - 12:38pm
anon6414, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah I think people just don't expect it to be as big of a shock before they move here. It's so hard to find like-minded people to hang out with because everyone I know either becomes a shut-in (like me) or gets sucked into the scene and gradually loses contact with you. 

Feb 6, 2022 - 6:58pm
Wallypip, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree that things have definitely gotten murkier in life due to social media. It really struck me what you said about people documenting the moment rather than living in it. I actually feel genuinely sad when I see those type of posts now. Don't me wrong, there are some positives. I have old friends I'd never otherwise be in touch with because of social media, but I also know all about their cat now. I think at best it's making people more narcissistic and at worse, it's destroying society. 

Jan 31, 2022 - 1:26pm
Pizz, what's your opinion? Comment below:

but how do you find them? If you don't have a FB or IG, most people think u may be introverted/weird. Girls especially do have this mindset. 

Most Helpful
Jan 31, 2022 - 1:56pm
InvestmentSpanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If girls think you're weird, it's not because of your lack of Instagram. I always see you making this excuse.
 

Don't have Instagram and I do great. Girls will even compliment me on it. Find another excuse for not getting laid 

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Feb 1, 2022 - 8:28pm
monkey0114, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Those people are definitely out there. Majority of people I grew up with were humble and not fake. A lot of my friends are in med school and literally none of them and their peers are fake materialistic people. I've found that from living in a major global city, loads of the people here are fake and materialistic and have massive egos which is one of the main things I don't like about living here.

Jan 31, 2022 - 1:42pm
Aristotle., what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't particularly surround myself with consumerism and vanity, but majority of people around me does.

I'm aware of that, just wanted to hear the thoughts of other people.

Jan 31, 2022 - 2:00pm
trustmeimanengineer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Social media is a cancer. Does one live longer by getting more likes? Does one actually achieve anything more? No. It's stupid, but so are most humans. The average human has the intellect to exist, not thrive. Then remember half of all people are dumber than that.

The best way I've found to find people with common values is to just be aware when doing things and meeting people. My best friends I met in high school and college. None of us give a shit about social media beyond staying connected. We use instagram to send memes or chat but that's it. I've just collected friends as I've gone through life and Irish Exit'd when appropriate from a friendship. It gets easier the older you get. It's so stupid, but YOLO is true. You only get one chance to live. You're 19. Just keep your head up and find those that aren't looking down at their phone 24/7. You'll be shocked at the number of people you find with similar values when you're looking.

It helps that my friends and I have similar interests. College Football is one that we all enjoy. We go to a game a year as a group and frequently text about games through the season. We all value the experience more than the photos/likes. I only have social media so my wife can tag me in stuff and to DM my buddies.

Quick Edit: I found most smart people dont give a shit about Instagram likes. My buddies are all quite intelligent in their own ways. A few through education. A few through careers. A few through life experience. Like I said, find your group by going out and doing things you enjoy. 

Jan 31, 2022 - 2:07pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I joined social media in 2004 on FB when it first came out to college students.

Facebook was way cooler back then. They didn't have this dopamine addicting content, but it was a place to share cool travel journeys and crazy party pics. No one on FB had kids back then.

Then over the years it morphed into these targeted ads and people started to have kids and babies and the photos turned into family life. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jan 31, 2022 - 2:33pm
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I

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Jan 31, 2022 - 8:03pm
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Social media is trash…people are fake…WSO is real and forever. WSO always has your back man

Jan 31, 2022 - 8:54pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dunno about this take. I like WSO more than most social media because unlike Reddit it's not an echo chamber and unlike FB it's anonymous and unlike IG / TikTok it's not massively addicting. So all said, you could still call WSO a poison but while TikTok is cyanide, this is the least harmful poison...and no one ever said we had to be perfect

That said, using WSO as your main social media does strike me as a mindful choice if you simultaneously delete / minimize exposure to other apps 

Feb 1, 2022 - 9:48am
ironman32, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Random thoughts but  here we go:

(1) Did social media make people dumber? Yes and no. Lot easier to get information, but also a lot easier to create non-accurate information. What it really did is make it easier for people with the same ideas to get in touch. For example, before social media, there was maybe one person in your town or city who was a flat earther or a brony, or was viewed more as a freak or an outsider. The internet made it easier for that person to connect with the person the next town over who is also a flat earther or brony, and people think their ideas are less weird when other people hold them as well. 

(2) What we're seeing now in social media is the result of making it very easy for people to connect, therefore cultivate an online presence, therefore make a business. They did poll where I think its ~85% of kids want to be IG stars or influencers. Being an IG star is harder than it looks, but basically its just kids (people) saying they want to make a lot of money and not work. (side note, I don't really  understand the business of social media, mainly, I listen to podcast look at posts, but I never buy anything from the ads, must be a lot of people who do because the companies keep advertising.)

(3) Social media is just the trickle down of what rich people/celebrities do. Meaning, if some celebrity posts going to a dinner at a place that costs a couple thousand bucks, other people will posts their meal from Applebees. If some lady celebrity got her lungs removed today, lung removal surgery would go up the next day across the country.

(4) Social media will evolve, and the people who are really involved in it will never go away. Meaning, the same chick posting meals and shoes won't shut up about her baby when she has one. So you have to make sure that you angle your social media with the algos to make it what you want to see. Social media can be great if you use it for a purpose, but if you're unhappy with the profiles you see, probably have to start looking at different stuff.  

(4a) Some chicks are wild on IG. Problem for many of them, they only know how to be hot, or they only want to be hot, thats their hobby, so they have to look right for every photo. (Weird pregnancy pics?) I'll never understand half the stuff some of them put up, or half the stuff some of them do. And thats not all women, just the ones who do a lot of stuff on IG. If you're a model its one thing, but when you're a nurse its another. Here's a point, I'll admit this, I love the sports stuff on Netflix, can't get enough of Last chance U, so I survive on Cheer into between LCU season. Its crazy the dudes on LCU are like, "I want to do better to provide for my family", the girls on Cheer are "I started cheerleading because I want everyone to look at me."

Feb 1, 2022 - 3:30pm
marketMergerMaddie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

On points (4) and (4a) you're totally right. I actually come from a family where mom, sisters, cousins, are constantly doing this kind of stuff and it just drives me up a wall. I deleted almost all my social media, leaving me only with a blank Facebook for Messenger, Snapchat that I don't post stories to, and a very minimal LinkedIn. I've been living at home with my family for about two years now since I have to take care of my grandmother, and it's amazing how much everyone gets sad when they see other people doing stuff. 

I just had to get rid of the mindset of wanting to be seen. And frankly, I think environment has a lot to do with that.

For that point, don't hang around people who are hyper-focused on appearance or social media. You can be friends with them, but so long as they are focused entirely on their social media, they're more of a friend to their phone than you. 

Additionally, I assume you're in college. Try to move somewhere where people aren't as fake when you graduate. Miami is bad and LA is worse. They are places that are fun to visit, but awful to live and in decent part for that reason. 

Lastly, figure out who around you isn't fake. Be closer with them. Real friends make lives better. And if you don't have any real friends, I assure you they are out there. Good luck

Feb 1, 2022 - 6:59pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

LA / Miami / NYC all fit this mold to a T. SF does it in a different way where it's hyper virtue signaling 

For large cities, only ones I can think of that are escaping at least the worst of it are Chicago / Boston / Seattle / Texas cities 

Feb 1, 2022 - 3:25pm
Arealanalyst34, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Millennial perspective-I think there genuinely is a big difference, but not in the ways you are thinking. People that are 25+ got to watch life without big tech and the development of the whole thing and how it changed interactions. Life certainly was a lot simpler pre social media-that said there were always people striving to be cool that were fake. I think the big difference now is 2 things:

  • It's much easier to be alone
  • Inter-peer comparison has gotten substantially worse 

The easier to be alone thing I think sounds good, but I think it's actually really bad and is making people way lonelier than ever before. These apps are so good at holding people's attention spans that I think it's very easy to lose several hours a day mindlessly scrolling. This contrasts with what I feel like was a major complaint/ part of growing up in my adolescent years-being bored. Yeah you could play n-64, but that didn't have online play and there weren't that many games. Also, for tv you either watched what was on, or bought a dvd set from blockbuster or something. Otherwise, you had to just call a friend to come over and you'd just wander around talking to each other about how bored you were and if you could get some other kids involved to plan some sort of game (seemed like you never could get as many people as you wanted). I also played games like capture the flag with neighbors and hide and seek constantly because if school was over, there wasn't really anything you could do, but hang out with kids.
 

I think in retrospect, there was a lot of socialization going on and at least when you were bored, you had another person to be bored with. I think now, people would just scroll on their phone and all of sudden it would be time to go to sleep and the lack of one on one time with friends makes people feel less connected to others. Weird movie rec, but watch the movie stand by me if you want to understand what being a kid pre-social media was like. It was a ton of biking around and just coming up with dumb excuses for an adventure based on having nothing to do. Even though the movie takes place in the 50's, the 90's and 2000's were actually the same in terms of just kids aimlessly wandering and parents wanting them to do so because otherwise they would just complain they were bored or break things in their house.

Inter-peer comparison is the other part that is way worse. I also think there's a news/ anxiety component to this as well. Pre-24 hour news and everyone reporting on their life and accomplishments constantly, you just weren't aware of what most people were doing. Like a person who bench pressed 315 in high school could have his ego be he's the strongest person he or anyone has ever heard of. There just wasn't a way of keeping tabs on everyone and as a result, I think goals and comparisons were more localized. Put another way too-there was no ranking really of schools pre-internet or not in a way people took seriously. You also would have no idea really what different salaries and jobs were like. I don't know why people are the way they are, but it seems people are very focused on relative comparison compared to individual goals. Being able to keep tabs on everyone I think makes almost everyone feel like they are constantly losing. There always is someone out there who is smarter, richer, stronger, more attractive, funnier, etc. I think people were aware of this in the past, but it wasn't as in your face as it is today. 
 

My personal advice, don't use social media aside from messaging. Also, begin resenting the people that created those apps and their goal of just causing you to waste hours of your life you will never get back. Try going just a month where you don't use, linkedin, insta, fb, tiktok, snap, and whatever else is out there. From my experience, you will get really bored and at that point start doing more productive tasks like joining clubs/ organizations, reading books, or working out. 

Feb 1, 2022 - 3:35pm
AutisticChimp, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Please stay as who you are right now. Please, don't change just because of these doubts that you have. You are not wrong and the world needs more people like you.

Feb 1, 2022 - 7:00pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agree with poster above. Don't change OP. I assure you there are many others who feel the way you do (just look at this thread!) -- even among Gen Z -- you just need to look a little harder for them but the rewards are great

Nothing worth having in life is easy to get 

Feb 1, 2022 - 7:49pm
Arroz con Pollo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am 24 and agree with what you wrote. You now have middle schoolers who are politically affiliated - like come on bro.

Also agree with what people have said about growing up and being social. I was forced to make friends with the neighborhood kids because that's what kids did back then. I remember this Russian kid that I always got in fights with - he even called his mom one day to ask if he could fight me because he was mad at me lol. We didn't like each other, but we always hung out around the neighborhood because what else would we do?

I'm not going to act like I'm a social butterfly - I spend the majority of my time alone outside of work. I have the gym, but I've stopped going to gym classes as I realized I didn't really like them. Met some cool people, but wasn't worth paying so much money when I already have access to multiple gyms with all the equipment I need.

Also regarding how kids are raised - my parents used to give me books to entertain myself. I have always scored near perfect on reading comprehension and writing portions of standardized tests, and I credit that to my reading as a kid. Nowadays, parents give their kids iPads. Playing Subway Surfer is nowhere near as beneficial to kids as reading a book. Yes, I had a Gameboy Advance SP and a PSP that I played a ton on, but I also spent a ton of time outside and reading. The issue now is that kids have extremely low exposure to anything outside of a screen in front of their face.

Feb 2, 2022 - 6:43pm
EatClenTrenHard, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agree with you that overall, it appears our generation is on a steep downward dive. Time will tell how it all plays out, but for now keep your circle small and don't worry about what the masses are doing. I think it's better to have 4 quarters than 100 pennies.

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Feb 2, 2022 - 10:35pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Undoubtedly on a downward dive. Strictly speaking, America was at the height of its power in a relative sense vs. the rest of the world in the 1990s. USSR collapsed, China had not even embraced capitalism & we were completely unchallenged. We have two wide buffers (Atlantic & Pacific), extremely weak, fragmented neighbors to the South and a weak, pacifist ally to the North. We have some of the best farmland in the world and we have virtually every natural resource under the sun (except for rare earth metals). We have total dominance in the prime military bases (i.e. likes of Guam) which we took unchallenged after WW2.

Otto Van Bismarck even remarked, "God has great patience for fools, drunks, and the United States of America." And what do we do with all of these gifts? We let alt left idiots take control of our society, let poisonous foreign forces influence our nation's youth (i.e. China's TikTok), don't invest in education, and let the world pass us by. 

I agree with you that there are the occasional good finds with friends but it's not easy. Our society has simply grown soft & weak. As they say "Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times." We're firmly in the last period right now, the good times of the 2nd half the 20th century came to an end & now we have weak men running society that continue to bring our society down (i.e. Drumpfy, financeabc)

Feb 3, 2022 - 12:36am
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Remember gang: all those social media apps that started out as a fun gimmick but have turned into something viewed as detrimental now were all created by...millenials! 

For example: Facebook was originally meant for college students only (you had to have a whitelisted [email protected] email). I remember the day my roomie came in hooting and hollering that our school finally got added to Facebook and how big a deal that was (Editor: This was 2004). So we signed up, had our college fun and used it as a jackass version of LinkedIn before LinkedIn became...LinkedIn. Then what happens? We grew up (and grew into using LinkedIn to hide all our schenanigans we posted on Facebook and be all adult like). But we still had Facebook and therefore all our connections from our class and our high school buds that went off to other schools. Now we just used "events" for a monthly happy hour to stay in touch. Or so-and-so got married, share the pics! Then post about having kids.

Then now the kids are old enough to make posts on WSO about how they think Facebook is ruining people without really thinking about how they're almost as old as Facebook itself. Maybe not you, but there's kids on Facebook posting away not realizing their parents met through Facebook back in college at the true OG level.

Like another poster mentioned, once you get older and let yourself get more ingrained in physical reality with things like dating, building a professional career, engaging in a physical hobby where you get out of being able to scroll on a screen. Then you just don't have time for IG or TikTok etc and only have LinkedIn for the professional aspect. Sounds crude, but it only bothers you if you let it because you don't have anything better to do like ramble on about how Facebook affected your life starting in college on another message board to kill time before turning in for the night *ahem*.

Feb 3, 2022 - 10:26am
K-Peezy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Feb 3, 2022 - 3:29am
Anchor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Feb 3, 2022 - 4:06am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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