Ever since we’ve had modern society, we have seen have an impact on what we think of ourselves. Whether it was peasants looking disheveled compared to a wealthy and powerful ruler, to the introduction of the printed word eventually leading to all kinds of mass-media (newspaper, telegram, radio, television, internet). As long as there has been a form of media, there have been advertisements as well as people showing-off what they think makes them better than others.
Decades ago, if you wanted to have a good self-image you could rely on what people around you simply told you and avoid things like television or radio. Now, however, in this present age we are constantly being bombarded by modern society via ads plastered everywhere, individuals tweeting, snap-chatting, or putting on Instagram their gorgeous bodies and lavish lifestyles. And simply having a phone means you have access to a World Wide Web full of social media, and the consensus about that is not a good one for self-image.
A Future Full of Self Doubt
Study after study has found the same thing: modern society is full of connectivity and this access to constant traditional and social media generally has a negative impact on what we think of ourselves. Being able to take-out your phone and see nothing but images of successful, wealthy, gorgeous people results in individuals both feeling bad about themselves but desiring to see more and more of people living a luxurious and good-looking life. We live in a world full of self-doubt perpetuated by a never-ending stream of people wanting to rack-up views (“influencers”) and media companies taking advantage of an always-plugged-in society to produce non-stop ads that seep into every aspect of our lives.
Now simply trying to watch a funny video of cats on YouTube or Facebook will result in a bunch of advertisements before (or even in the middle) of a video reminding people that they should feel bad about themselves unless they buy, “This Product,” try, “This Lifestyle,” or watch, “This Influencer.”
What Can Someone Do?
So far this piece has laid-out an immensely depressing future of a modern society full of forms of media that intentionally chip away at a person’s self-image to achieve a goal of either selling a literal product, or, “Selling,” an idea/image/lifestyle. What can someone actually do about all this, however? It actually is simple. Try to take time to unplug and unwind. Avoid falling into, “Comparison Traps.” Realize you are good enough just as you are. Spend time with people who support you instead of bringing you down and be aware that almost anything designed to attack your self-mage is doing so in the hope you will, “Buy into,” a product or idea. Simply put, believe in yourself and forget, “The haters.”