Opiate of the Masses
by Zoya Salahuddin
In an ocean of status updates, disappearing photos and news that spreads with the tap of a thumb, getting lost in a world between Instagram photos and your dull, routine existence is almost natural. It is not rare for people to distort their realities with the perfect, untroubled life they live on social media. Frankly, it seems to have become the way people cope with their struggles: by vicariously living perfect lives through their social media profiles, they find solace outside of the chaos and stress in the real world.
A simple analysis of the mass media nowadays proves that exposure to it also contributes to our blurred perspectives. When you read a book, or watch a TV show, it is not uncommon for you to think of it as an escape; a way to pass time. It goes without saying, most of today’s generation turn to television when stressed, in order to pull them away from physical existence. In the words of Edward R. Murrow, “TV is the opiate of the masses.” The consequences of such a lifestyle being encouraged are severe – many may begin to view the virtual reality outside of their own as actuality. Some immerse themselves in a world of delusion and lies, unable to control their understanding of existence versus what we see on the big screen.
Verily, the concept of social media is enthralling; a pivotal phenomenon in technological development. While it is only natural to want to portray only the exciting aspects of our routinely lives on social media, we must be aware of our reality. What happens when we stop distinguishing real life from fantasy?