Social Media and Your Worth
When social media becomes a platform to gauge self-worth.
Today, social media has become an integral part of modern society. We use it for communication, or maybe for business. It helps us connect in a way we could have never connected before.
Most of us pretty much have phones, laptops, and televisions. Technology is all around us. We carry it, we use it, and we generally wouldn't be able to imagine our lives without it. But too much of a good thing (with anything) can become a negative.
Back in the 90s and early 2000s, people were still learning how to navigate around the internet. It was new and exciting. Beyond communicating, or playing a few games, we didn't really worry about anything beyond that. Places like Instagram and Snapchat weren't even a thing, and MySpace and Facebook were just new, unknown babies in the mid-2000s.
When I first started using the internet around 2008, I didn't care about how many people saw, or liked my post. I was happy with my one like, which was usually from my best friend or my cousin, and I just moved on.
So when has social media become this soul-sucking place to gauge our self worth? Let me explain a little further.
Let's say you go on vacation on a cruise. You take loads and loads of pictures and videos. You finally pick something to post, and you post it, but something goes wrong. Hardly anyone likes it, or even comments on it. You look at your friends posting things, and they get hundreds of likes, but for some reason, your beautiful, quality picture with a catchy caption doesn't get a lot of attention.
By this point you probably feel some type of way, and even if you don't always feel like that when you don't get "enough" likes or comments, you've probably felt that way at some point, especially if you're a part of millennials or generation-Z.
There's a lot of things I don't agree with when it comes to opinions on those two generations, especially since I myself am a millennial. But there's one thing I can agree on, and it's that we put too much of our self worth into our social media accounts.
I see it all the time, and sometimes I catch myself doing it. I'll post a picture on Instagram and repeatedly check to see who liked it even though I didn't get a notification. I've watched my friends repeatedly refresh their notifications to see if it updates, and I've seen them post things and then delete them simply because it didn't receive an ample amount of likes. I've done the same, I've been there.
When I was slightly younger, I figured that maybe people didn't really care about me simply because my posts didn't get a lot of attention. I had put my self-worth into the amount of likes that I received, and I forgot how unimportant something like that had always been to me. In 2008 I was always on the internet posting cat pictures and reading FanFiction, and I can't understand how it went from something as simple as that, to something much deeper.
The truth is, is that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that your post didn't get a lot of attention. That doesn't mean that tons of people don't care about you, it's just that they have their own lives and truthfully, their lives don't center around you, it centers around themselves. Sometimes people may forget to like it, maybe they didn't see it, or maybe likes aren't important to them; which it shouldn't be, but it's okay if you care, just as long as you don't gauge your worth in likes and follows.
I've had tons of people talk to me about pictures I post, yet they didn't like it, but not in a negative way. They'll ask me how my vacation was, or where I took the picture, or, "Where was that restaurant you said we should check out? I'd like to go!" Things like that, and ultimately that's what makes me happier than a like.
Places like Instagram have become a platform for models, and beauty gurus, and we let ourselves get sucked into the misconception that these beautiful people are always beautiful, and flawless, and that's how they were made, but that's so far from the truth. A lot of times there's a lot of photoshop, makeup, or surgery involved. Which really (in my opinion) isn't a bad thing.
But it's important to remember that not everyone is perfect and flawless like they portray to be on social media.
We spend so much time trying to gauge our self-worth on social media, and trying to attain goals that we admire in famous influencers, forgetting that sometimes our goals may not be realistically possible without heavy amounts of cash, or sponsors.
What I'm trying to say is, is that the reality in social media is real, but at the same time, isn't. Social media is like a separate virtual world or reality from this one. It's almost as if we have another life simply because we can post whatever, talk to whomever, and make our lives seem like something it's not. Maybe that vacation you went on was horrible, but you took a nice picture, posted it, and put a caption about how much fun you were having.
You're not your Instagram following, or the posts you share online. They're little bits of your life that help others gain insight in what happens in your day-to-day activities. Yet we continue to place our self-worth in likes, follows, and comments thinking if certain people don't interact with our posts, maybe they don't care.
And we scroll through, wondering why we can't be as perfect as our friend, or a famous celebrity, when really, none of it actually matters because our self-worth, and quality of life isn't measured in likes. It's measured in how we live in each moment, the people who love us, and most importantly, the love we have for ourselves.