Connecting people across the globe but detaching a person from themselves is what social media has done to us today. In the era where there is constant usage of digital platforms to convey messages about various social issues, the flaws that follow it up are very evident. Women throughout the world have been victims of various patriarchal suppressions. The conflict is not just between men and women but also between two kinds of women; one who tries to overcome the suppression and the other who wants to ensure the suppression stays put.
Digital media may have improved the status of women in society today by empowering them with knowledge and awareness about their rights. Yet, the biggest problem faced by women today is to maintain the status where the women fight their conflicts with themselves, on a daily basis. Digital media has become an essential tool in projecting the ideas to the masses. With the advancement of technology our lives tend to become fast and within a click we get all the information we need. There are things around us which become complicated when that happens.
Digital media has always used women as a central concept for topics which need attention or viewers. The web is full of themes which revolve around women; this obsession also leads to psychology of how people tend to follow what they are fed by mass. The past situation when women worked according to what men in the society wanted them to do, has changed. Today, digital media has taken up the role of those men and it tries to shape women in the way producers of movies and advertisements want.
The portrayal of women in digital media like social networking sites, websites, etc., is one of the causes for many personality disorders and low self-esteem in women. In the past, women fought with the world but today, they fight with themselves on a daily basis to achieve something which is considered to be something outside the capabilities of women. The image about perfect body, perfect looks, perfect dressing style which has been embedded in their minds through digital media is also causing inferiority complex amongst them.
On a daily basis, I witness friends around me trying to be like someone who they see as a perfect woman, who has those curves and looks which they state, are perfect. Who sets this definition about perfection? Why do women need to adhere to it? Is it just to be a part of the group and for others to accept them? Why can’t we accept ourselves the way we are? Aren’t we all unique in the ways we live and look? Then why do we need to follow the herd to just be like them?
Advertisements of various make up brands like Fair and Lovely, Lakme, etc. who sell cosmetic products like fairness creams, lipsticks, foundation, compact powers, face packs, etc. use the stereotypes about women, that exist in the society. The need for women to look beautiful is embedded in the advertisement of these products which claim to add on to their beauty. Through such images about women on digital platforms, the young girls start following that trend of trying to look beautiful and have “that” figure which according to the society is called “perfect”. In the race to be “perfect”, most of us forget what we originally were and how we were unique and beautiful.
In one sense, the internet has connected us with others and in the other, it is taking away ourselves from us.
Matching up to the media created standards is what disturbs women psychologically. Today our image on social media matters more than what we actually are in real life. In order to come first in the race, we tend to erase our individual personality which is the most essential part of our living. In order to have most number of likes and comments on our pictures, we do things which in reality we will never do. Our image on social media becomes more valuable to us than what we have in reality. Digital media has not just brought good things but also reversed the conventional way of living. People have started following what people in the West making our lives very monotonous.
Women in digital media have become mere objects who are used to sell products and services which provide profit to those who run the companies for women by using women. In digital era, none of us are left with control of our lives as internet controls us today. Our lives are becoming so monotonous that we follow the trend instead of making a trend on our own.
Digital media doesn’t just violate women but has also become a medium which has empowered women. Today many women entrepreneurs have come up, who extensively use digital media to showcase their talent. Today, many homemakers use digital media platforms like YouTube to show their talents via videos like do it yourself cooking, designing, etc. which lets them show the world what they are good at.
Many women used social media to start movements against social injustice. Empowering women yet distorting their personality, digital media is like two sides of a coin. Digital media comes with both pros and cons. It’s on us how we use this platform, whether we start following something which is not meant for us or do something which can make us known for what we are good at.
The choice is ours, the conflict of me v/s me can be solved, if we do what we feel like, on digital platform. The conflict is not about winning, it’s about achieving what we can do and excel in it.
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