IN HIS BOOK, The Road to Character, David Brooks nails whats wrong with social media. “Social media encourages a broadcasting personality. Our natural bent is to seek social approval and fear exclusion. Social networking technology allows us to spend our time engaged in a hypercompetitive struggle for attention, for victories in the currency of “likes.” People are given more occasions to be self-promoters, to embrace the characteristics of celebrity, to manage their own image, to Snapchat out their selfies in ways that they hope will impress and please the world. This technology creates a culture in which people turn into little brand managers, using Facebook, Twitter, text messages, and Instagram to create a falsely upbeat, slightly overexuberant, external self that can be famous first in a small sphere and then, with luck, in a large one. The manager of this “self” measures success by the flow of responses it gets. The social media maven spends his or her time creating a self-caricature, a much happier and more photogenic version of real life. People subtly start comparing themselves to other people’s highlight reels, and of course they feel inferior.”
Brooks, David. The Road to Character (Kindle Locations 4819-4826). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.