When Solon, one of the seven sages of the ancient Greece, visited Egypt to obtain some knowledge from this fabulous civilization, the high priest laughed as he said to him that Greeks were like children – they were looking, but could not see; they would hear, but could not understand.
I once met a man who was well off and well-travelled. He actually kept a record of all the places he had visited and he could spend hours enumerating them to those willing to listen. And in so doing he would make it look like there was not a jungle that he had not entered, nor a mountain peak he had not climbed or a waterfall in which he had not washed his hair. He had a lot of pictures; that he had indeed. But despite all this, if you asked him to tell you something interesting about one of those places he had visited or the things he had seen, all that he could do was to show you some damn pictures. In fact, he was quite a dull and boring person; a rich, well-travelled, boring man.
This obviously begs the question – what was the point? What is the difference between travelling all around the world and making a trip to a nearby hill, when the result of both the cases is that upon your return, you have not changed at all? None, I say, if very little. (Given the context, of course.)
When I met this man, the social media were in their nascent years. Seeing all his pictures on the internet, one would think of him as a lucky, successful and extremely happy person, interesting to talk to and exciting to be around. The exact opposite was true though and I had the first-hand experience of it. But not many people do.
Majority, and this goes especially for the young, take what they can see at its face value. They do not bother considering what might be hiding behind those smiles and flowers in the pictures posted all over the social networks.
The consequences are dire. People feel unhappy with what little things they have and consider themselves excluded from the world. This in turn brings about all kinds of mental and social problems, which I do not wish to mention here or talk about in detail.
Not so long ago, I came across this short article or rather a piece of “news” on the internet, which informed the reading public of a certain young woman having committed a suicide. She was a blogger and traveller and influencer and what not. The article was supported with numerous pictures of her and her boyfriend visiting exotic places, drinking some coffee or playing with a dog. All the time smiling; all the time happy; influencing us right to the very end.
This girl of a very able body had been of a very disturbed mind, though. As the article went on to explain, she had been suffering from serious mental issues and feelings of deep depression and anxiety with suicidal tendencies, none of which, however, was manifested in her shared pictures. Here we had a deeply troubled young woman “influencing” others and showing them all how to lead a happy life.
I use this extreme case as one example for all. It would appear that in varying forms and intensity, it is becoming a rule rather than an exception to see these beautiful and happy pictures produced by some deeply unhappy, if not mentally disturbed, individuals.
Whole generation of young people is being brought up on this false imagery and fed with ideas about the lifestyles which are accessible only to few and which bring true happiness to none. Yet, the magic of the glossy life is too strong for too many to resist, and so they keep chasing these doubtful ideals with little or no regard to whatever effects they may have upon their lives or the lives of their family and close friends.
The topic is too broad and the impact of the social networks on the lives of especially weaker personalities is far reaching. Yet, it is as if the young, in their social misery and loneliness, could not make that vital connection between their current condition and its cause.
And if you went and tried to talk them out of it, perhaps, they would sit and listen and hear you out on what you have to say, but still they would not understand; or maybe it is that they do not want to understand; that they do not want to see. They appear to be more than happy with just looking. Looking at whatever is being thrown to them and chasing the wind of their ephemeral happiness, which has never been real in the first place.