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Likes, selfies and self-promotion – The hidden dangers of social media | DW Documentary



Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. In the virtual world, everyone wants to put their best foot forward. But the quest for validation can become an addiction. The dynamics on social networks can cause serious damage, especially for impressionable young people.

We spend hours on “social media” – Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. We’re seduced by their unspoken promise: They’ll help us share our views, indeed our whole lives, with the entire world.
In this virtual world, everyone is happy. Everyone has a perfect body, lives in a fancy house and is surrounded by beautiful people. Everyone makes themselves seem important, and everyone passes judgment.

But this constant striving for validation can quickly become an addiction, one that has devastating consequences for psychological health. And it is young people who are most susceptible. This documentary shows the real dangers of this “dictatorship of happiness” on social networks, and introduces viewers to some of its young victims.

Danny was 14 when he posted his first selfie on Facebook. But he didn’t get many likes. So he posted more and more photos in a desperate quest for recognition. Soon he was posting hundreds of selfies a day. He stopped eating in order to “optimize” his body, and lost 12 kilograms. Then he stopped going to school and didn’t leave the house for six months: He had come to believe he was so ugly that people would be afraid of him. In desperation, he even attempted suicide. It wasn’t until Danny made a clean break from all “social media” that he slowly recovered.

His story may sound extreme. But with the invention of “likes” and the concept of self-promotion, according to which everything has to be confirmed by others to be considered real, the creators of social networks are changing our behavior. Marie, 22, has 4,922 followers and her biggest worry is disappointing her subscribers. She spends one day a week tweaking the image of her perfect Parisian life. She spends hours on her makeup and takes hundreds of photos to find the one picture she wants to post. In front of the camera, she breaks down and confesses how vulnerable she feels – and how desperate she is to be liked.

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32 Comments

  1. All on social media are either narcissists or very lonely people. You post pictures, stories and videos capturing everything in a nice light and pretending to have a fantastic life. People might or might not give you a “like “, you will feel a little bit thrilled, then you have to go back to reality and that’s when depression kicks in. Eventually you also become old, wrinkled and no one pays any attention to you, and only then some will realize that in reality they don’t matter in the whole world. It’s better if you realize this soon and in case you have a kid you should teach them about the bitter reality as well. Dopamine rush is just not worth it, it makes you feel loved and worthy for a while but destroys your psyche. Not to mention that most people both men and women pretend to be someone else by using downloaded pictures or using photo editing, a lot of makeup and filters, if you meet those people in real life you won’t recognize them. Even if you do get likes and become popular, those people won’t’ really care about you if something bad happens to you and you’ll feel very distraught and disappointed.

  2. 100 WOMEN WALK INTO A ROOM
    – NUMBERS 1 TO 100 ON THE WALL
    – EVERYONE MUST TAKE A NUMBER IN ORDER OF ATTRACTION
    – NOBODY CAN LEAVE
    – EVERYONE GETS A MILLION DOLLARS
    – THEY HAVE 24 HOURS

    ONE HOUR LATER
    – HAIR
    – NAILS
    – BLOOD
    – PISS
    – TEARS

    ((((((( EVERYWHERE ))))))

  3. Happiness is within yourself, You don't need someone else approval just to make you happy. And I am happy not using any social media to prove to the world that I'm happy.

  4. Wow this is disturbing…. Why do people constantly crave, desire pleasure and happiness from our invisible fellow human being..??
    When will you realise it's about looking within your being.. it's within you not without.. SIMPLE..
    HATE TO THINK WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WITH THESE SOCIAL SELFIE ADDICT'S IF SOCIAL MEDIA SITE'S DISAPPEARED.. much needed job roles to be filled with social media counsellors..SO SAD.. SERIOUSLY.. look at your surroundings without taking a picture for others to approve your sense of happiness.. enjoy yourself leave phone behind and happiness will naturally occurr within you. Then again MAYBE NOT.. I FEEL SO SORRY FOR THESE MILLIONS TRILLIONS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICT'S..LOOK WITHIN…..

  5. well yes before am on Facebook but now I stop its make me stressed and lazy you cannot do anything just set down, make you sick but now I only have youtube to watch and learn thing like bake inventing something I make myself close to the nature every day I work in the garden only 20minutes in technology.

  6. "New Ways are ruining the next generation" is as ancient as humans have lived together as a society. Yawn! Rock-and-roll used to be from the devil, and tv was going to fry our brains…resistance to how things change is both futile and stupid. Clever is figuring out how to get the best out of what is! All sorts of "logic" cloaking ageism is all this is.

  7. 0:55 "It makes them come back and wonder what I'm up to". Don't worry, hon. We know what you're "up to". You're staring at yourself again for hours, and taking selfies to search for 'validation'. SMH.

  8. it needs to be taken away from us all before its to late, Bill Gates didn't let his kids have smart phones I heard he seems to know about what the whole world should be "afraid of"

  9. Please insert english subtitle not the auto-generated and if possible permanent english subtitle rather than CC(English Caption only) so that people/viewers can download it and present it with english subtitles like a movies/series. So that other people can read too while listening. And deaf people how can they study or read it if it is have no subtitles? Please all videos must be have CC. So that other or few people have options to screenshots it. Because auto-generated is really annoying when you screenshot everything like other videos too example intelligence high school debate arirang have no english subtitle and I can't screenshots easily. So please insert it like the crash course videos which many of them have permanent subtitle for internet only that's why I can used many screenshots because they have CC.

  10. Good documentary, but why use voice over for most of it and not just use subtitles? The people sound really ungenuine this way

  11. We loose electricity, we loose wifi, we loose social media, we go back to farming for survival, we share our food not tweets or fake smile pics and we'll be happier then now. Maybe! Even youtube as amazing as it is can send me down into the rabbit hole in 5 min.

  12. There is nothing wrong with social media, there is something wrong with those people that take it too seriously. Social media is a platform for communication, that gives ordinary people a chance to become famous without being part of the official entertainment industry. Of course it can be misunderstood for something else and create personal issues but this is not the technology's fault

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