I fidget nervously as I peer at my cellphone screen, refreshing the page yet again. I uploaded a photo an hour ago, and so far, have received just 50 likes! That's less than one like per minute! I knew I shouldn't have uploaded a photo so soon after my last upload! And I probably didn't even select the right filter. My followers probably think I'm boring, and unattractive. And I was doing so well! I had gotten a 100+ likes on my last photo!
The above situation is something my peers and I have gone through many times, and will continue to go through in this day and age where social media is the main way we can deem our likability. And sure, we can listen to our parents who say there is more to life than likes and followers, but the cold hard truth of the matter is that s big part of our life does revolve around these metrics.
In today’s social media obsessed world, people opt to pick and display the best part of their lives so as to get the most likes.
I have noticed that over time my generation’s use of certain social media websites like Facebook and MySpace has gone down. Instagram and Snapchat still reign supreme however, since beautiful visual representations of our individuality is something we all want to embrace. The question is: is it real?
This brings me to why I am not the greatest fan of social media. The idea that everything has to be documented to validate our life events seems bizarre to me. But it definitely is an addictive concept.
Take myself for instance- I have been fortunate enough to travel to 25 countries in my life. I document a large part of these travels on my Facebook and Instagram profile, much to the envy of my followers. But what those followers don't know is the story behind the picture of my sister and I smiling next to the animals in Kenya. How hot the weather was. How much we complained about being cramped in a safari car for 15 hours. How tired we were at the end of it. Our bratty shenanigans were conveniently left out, and what you see is a perfectly angled gorgeous photo, complete with an appropriate filter and a #sisterselfie! That is my biggest problem with social media: the idea that everyone's life on social media is better, and you need to compete to keep up.
However, despite my qualms, social media will continue to grow, and so will its influence over us. Each app, each like, each retweet will influence the coming generations and the content they post, and the need for social approval will keep building.
This may sound disheartening but fear not! All we need to do is exercise moderation and think rationally about our social media use. Indulge in social media all you want, get all the likes and followers you want, but realize at the end of the day, these things do not matter. Taking some time out for the real world, evaluating your priorities and realizing that the most important critic in your life should be you, will help counteract the pressure that social media often seems to create in our lives