Social media platforms were designed to bring people together. And honestly, at the beginning, I would say this was true. You could stay connected with friends and family from around the world; you could share meaningful photos to include those that couldn’t be there; and you could show your friends what you’ve been up to in life. But now, social media feels like the exact opposite of what it was originally intended to do.
Don’t get me wrong, it still does at times. But there’s been a huge shift in what social media now offers to the world, and that’s validation. It’s crazy to think, that as a society, we place more value on those that have a little blue check mark next to their name. Not even just check marks, but how many followers they have, and who follows them. Some people get their validation from the amount of likes and comments they receive. Hell, I’ve been there. Of course it feels nice to be called beautiful. Of course it feels great to have people like your photos. But it also comes at a cost. Once you’ve fallen into the trap of validation by the way of likes, it’s a slippery slope into a dark, dark place. You slowly stop enjoying the moment, because you need to get the right photo to post on the gram. You start making decisions based upon what the outcome of likes could be. You start missing out on things in life, because you’ve become obsessed with checking and refreshing your feed. And ultimately, you’re letting a platform of complete strangers hold your self-worth in their hands. It’s crazy, but it’s happening.
Instead of a place of encouragement and sharing life’s special moments, social media has now become a place of competition; and we’re competing in a false reality. All these photos created for social media, are. not. real. Let me say that again, social media is not real. What some don’t realize is there’s a whole other side behind these Instagram famous people. Showing you live a fabulous life, is what people want to see (whether that’s because they want to hate you, or be you, that’s a whole other can of worms). People don’t come on social media to see posts of people complaining or crying saying they’ve had a bad day. And with that, we’ve eliminated a totally natural human emotion from social media (supply and demand), and showcase only the happiest, exciting, moments of our lives. Is that reality? No. Do some people perceive it to be? Yes. And this is where the trouble lies. An impressionable generation is only shown what #couplegoals #blessed #bodygoals are under the context that everything is perfect. It doesn’t show the couple constantly fighting; it doesn’t show what the girl had to do to get on that private jet; and it doesn’t show the eating disorder someone is battling to stay thin. We’ve now projected this ‘life is perfect’ concept, and then wonder why depression rates have increased.
The point of this? Take a break from social media. I did, and it was wonderful. It gave me a chance to evaluate my priorities, and enjoy moments in my life by myself. Social media is not evil, but it can take control of your life and self-worth if you’re not careful. Just know, no one is perfect. No one has a perfect life. And you are only seeing what people want to show you; and that usually consists of the highs in their life, not the lows.