Since the rise of popular social networks such as Instagram and Twitter people have been able to portray themselves as more glamorous and free spirited. Many people find these social networks pretentious as they do not display what is truly happening in people’s lives.
When going on Instagram, you come to the realisation that everyone is beautiful, wealthy, gym freaks, and well-dressed. People usually post pictures which enhance their popularity in their social circles. Every Monday people post pictures of their #MCM (Man Crush Monday) and on Wednesday of their #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) and these people are usually ‘bae af!’ (very beautifully and attractive). Then there’s the #Foodporn where people post pictures of good food which usually seems classy and healthy. Let’s not forget the “outfit of the day” popularly known as #OOTD. This is when people post pictures of an outfit that they have carefully sought out for that particular day.
There’s little modesty where this is concerned. Designer labels are mentioned to let others know just how expensive their clothing is. All of this in the quest for more ‘followers’ and ‘likes’.
Meanwhile on Twitter everyone is an expert on matters, witty and brave. This can especially be said about ‘twelebs’ (Twitter celebrities). These are ‘tweeps’ (Twitter users) that have a large following because of some or other reason. Usually it is someone who is not afraid to voice their opinions at all costs. This has lead to what is known as “Black Twitter”, the kind of tweets that are a bit too honest. People who engage in such tweeting are usually highly critical.
The tweets have to be short, concise with a funny and sometimes offensive punch line that will keep everyone glued to their phones. People also watch television via twitter through the tweets of others. Everyone can use their expertise to commentate on what is happening in a soapie, movie or sports match.
Why search for information on Google when there is ‘twoogle’. Find information about everything and anything at anytime just by asking their followers.
Junior Makena, a final year student at the University of Johannesburg has been labelled a ‘tweleb’ with an impressive eighteen thousand four hundred followers. Makena believes that social media culture is about people being more open and creating a space for people to network. However he does add that people should have limits to what they say and show some sense of morality. Ironically he has not always followed the ‘morality code’ that he deems important. “There was a point where I posted half naked pictures of myself”, this is how he got more females to follow him. It says that there is not much pretending when it comes to his online persona, Makena says that he is the same person online as he is offline. He does however admit that social media is a platform to be pretentious for many. ” I have met people who say they live at a certain place on Twitter, but they were not able to show me” he says.
Social media has been a new age tool that has brought about a different kind of generation. A generation that is focused on a sense of belonging that has endorsed a certain kind of lifestyle. Some might just say that they are ‘faking it till they make it’.
Will we all look back one day and laugh at all this social media madness?