Humility used to be (and still is) one the finest aspects of being a good human. It has been on the endangered list for some time, but social media may send it the way of the dodo bird or the Tasmanian tiger.
Social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, have taken on a life of their own: we know have the digital twin of ourselves online, but these digital recreations are exaggerated. While the good side of social media is that it helps people stay more connected, most only post the best moments of their lives, because the regular moments are often, too average, too regular. This candy-coat-my-life phenomenon seems to have a natural gravity of its own. People seek the extreme and pictures are often retouched and filtered to the point that no color reflects reality. No one has a blemish, everyone is tan, and a number of people look slimmer than they are in real life. The only exception to candy-coated is the other extreme, when someone goes public with a torrid affair or an egregious deception, perhaps in a fit of rage or revenge, but these posts are few and far between. 95% of normal life never appears.
Other catalysts that warp the digital picture are FOMO (fear of missing out) and the human inclination to competition. The result is that many posts highlight trivial items like the new Louis Vuitton just purchased, or the truly excessive vacation while it happens. Others see this and begin to think this is normal, so they join in, spending their savings or credit card limits with over the top purchases and vacations too, followed up with the obligatory posts.
The end result is that nearly everyone appears to be bragging about themselves and their fabulous lives on social media, which is extremely efficient at popping up the brags on everyone else’s smartphone.
In the middle of all the consumerism and braggadocio, being humble is crucially important to live a good life. Consider these wise words from Malcolm Gladwell, the best selling author of the Tipping Point, Outliers, and David and Goliath, during his current class on Masterclass.com:
Social media, in its efforts to connect us, is also tearing the fiber of what makes us good. Narcissism is now playing 24/7 online. I’m not saying quit all social media cold turkey, but we need to see it for what it is and treat it like beer or wine. Having a little, every now and then, isn’t bad, but partaking in copious amounts — paying too much attention to your “likes” and “comments”, feeling jealousy about someone else’s jaunt to Cabo or Tahiti, paying too much heed to other people’s commendation or condemnation, and making it the center of your view and perspective on life — is incredibly dangerous to your own state of mind and wellbeing.
Three quotes to consider:
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
— C. S. Lewis
Humility is really important because it keeps you fresh and new.
— Steven Tyler
Humility with open more doors than arrogance ever will.
— Zig Ziglar