Celebrity, social media addiction, selfie-culture, and one’s true self. A French TV actress shares her awakening to the truth behind a self-absorbed social media lifestyle.
Drawing from my personal story, as a former actress, turned director and activist, I wanted to share my experience with social media. My talk explores social media conditioning, its impact on our personalities, needs, ambitions and dreams, and its long term repercussions on our society. I would love to lay out a new mindful and authentic approach to social media, allowing us to take control of these platforms and use them for social good.
My goal with the talk was to not just share my story, but to tell a necessary one as well. I’m of the Millennial generation and like many of us, I grew up with the emergence of the
Internet, with my smartphone slowly becoming the extension of my arm. But at what cost?
Social Media was originally set up with the best of intentions and quickly turned into the largest, most powerful social conditioner. What we read, listen to and look at are now indirectly chosen for us.
How can we know our true selves, develop self love and feel supported to make our OWN choices if we are being constantly conditioned by such addictive media?
A study by the group Common Sense Media revealed that teens spend an average of 9 hours per day consuming media. Pew Research Center shows that 24% of teens go online “almost constantly.” More than 35% of teens want to be YouTubers, and most of them don’t even exactly know why. Many studies show that our current social media usage can lead to addiction, depression, self doubt, and unhappiness. Social media algorithms create echo chambers and reduce our exposure to new ideas. A survey done on 600 adults shows a third of them admit that social media makes them feel bad about themselves.
These stats are staggering, yet I was just as responsible as anyone else with my level of involvement.
With my posts and like buttons, I was taking part of a system that initially made me unfulfilled, insecure and addicted. With my tags, I was promoting companies I boycott now, and encouraging an economic system I question today.
To be clear, I’m not here to criticize the internet. It’s an incredible way to connect, to create
and advance our societies. I’m not trying to end social media usage, rather I’m aiming to initiate an individual self examination of the way we use it.
With my posts I shape your world. With your posts you shape mine. In this hyperconnected world, our digital habits have a long term impact on ourselves, our habits, our society and therefore our planet.
So, how can we use these amazing, powerful platforms to benefit the world, and avoid the negative impacts that it causes?
A French philosopher Pierre Rabhi said: “For super technologies, we need super conscience.” This may be the next big cultural challenge - Raising our consciousness to bring our humanity to the material and to bring true mindfulness, connection, and authenticity in our digital world.
We have a superpower in our hands. And now that we understand how the game works, we can play it for “good.” Promote what we truly love, what we value, what matters. We are not passive participants in this hundred billion dollar industry.
Perhaps then, when we learn to control social media, rather than it controlling us, we can help create a new world. A world where social media can be used for the beautiful.
I hope my journey from outside validation to inner meaning and self love can serve as a message that we can all reconnect to ourselves, others and our environment.
For the past 2 years I have focused on causes and productions that have a positive and constructive impact on myself, society and the environment. Through my work I am constantly questioning the conditioning of society.
I am dedicated to bringing authenticity, compassion and mindfulness to our digital world and wish to inspire us to refocus our attention from self aggrandizement and social media, and leverage its power to advance society, build communities and turn our values into actions.
With Love, Leslie