A trend I have seen come to fruition recently that indirectly bugs me to no end is the online popularity of the 5k run. There is nothing wrong with the 5k run per se. Many are sponsored by charities, and the money and time donated goes toward those foundations.
However, it seems that many people who run in 5ks don’t really care about the cause or, sometimes, even the exercise benefits.
Those people seem only to participate because it gives them a chance to get attention online. However, one run I’m able to get behind is one that travels around the country — Color Me Rad.
During this run, colored gels and paints are constantly sprayed on the runners so, by the time they finish the run, they look like rainbows.
There’s a great selfie opportunity, right? Many runners think so because every year when this 5k comes to town, I see pictures of people covered in colors all over my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The captions typically give way to, “Look at me, I look like I did something interesting,” as opposed to, “Hey look, I just ran this 5k where the money I paid to enter helps feed an impoverished child” — which is what the group’s charity partner, feedONE, does.
And this doesn’t just happen with 5ks.
On Mother’s Day, I saw people post pictures of their mothers in the morning and three hours later, post about partying or being at the movies.
These people barely spent enough time with their mothers to take a selfie with them, but get comments such as, “Wow, your mom seems awesome. Glad you care about her so much.” At Christmas, the same people talk about what they got as gifts and never about how great the family time is.
People seem to care less about the actual important substance of life, and more about how cool their lives make them look.
On the Internet, these people make their lives out to be perfect. Their lives may not actually be perfect, but social media gives them a chance to seem normal, thus giving a gateway to false happiness.
CNN.com posted a 2012 report conducted at Utah Valley University showing that more frequent Facebook users were perceived as having better lives by other users.
The article then gave a testimonial from a woman who said she had deleted her Facebook because she found herself acting in a way she didn’t like, and caring too much about what people thought of her status updates.
A 2013 study, conducted by the University of Michigan, found the following: “Over a billion people belong to Facebook, and over half of them log in every day.”
University of Michigan social psychologist Ethan Kross said, “On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. But rather than enhancing well-being, our findings demonstrate that interacting with Facebook may have the opposite result for young adults.”
Appreciation of your actual life will make it much more enjoyable in the long term as opposed to spending countless hours posting about yourself online in an effort to have people believe you are cool.
Now, go on. There must be a good cause such as a charitable 5k waiting for you somewhere.