“Likes” on social media have transformed over the past decade, and have somehow developed a much deeper meaning.
For example, when you post on Instagram, more likely than not, an internal battle has started in your head. You spend some time picking out the filter and comparing it to various other filters; you think of a witty caption and post the picture at the “prime” time in order for your photo to be as successful as possible, and gain as many likes as possible.
How has a simple task, such as posting a photo on social media, become such a hot topic? How has obtaining likes on a picture or a post become so competitive? I believe it all comes down to one word: reassurance.
I believe our generation needs reassurance from our peers in order to feel good about ourselves. When we post an Instagram photo and “someone popular” likes our photo, our world lights up for a brief moment- you feel satisfied and almost proud. For 30 seconds, you were reassured by someone’s opinion that you care about that your picture was good. Mission accomplished.
I am almost positive that every female friend group between the ages of 14 and 21 have conversed about “Insta-dibs.” Insta-dibs is when a group of people are all together and they take a picture, people can call dibs on who will post it. It’s a silly game, but everyone wants to portray their best selves on social media, right? If you don’t post of you at the carnival with some cotton candy, or at your uncle’s lake house, how will people know how cool and social you are?
Our generation cares too much about how other people view them, and I’ve had enough. This might be a crazy thought but likes DON’T matter. Just because you got a lot of likes on your selfie, doesn’t necessarily or accurately measure how pretty, smart, well-spoken, etc. etc. that you are. The amount of followers you have does not reveal how popular or well-liked that you are. This idea of obtaining a lot of likes on something equals how great of a person that we are is ridiculous. We need to stop comparing ourselves to each other and each other’s experiences, and just start doing things for ourselves. If you take a cool photo of you doing something amazing, post it for yourself because you enjoyed yourself at that moment – during that experience.
You are more than an Instagram like. Look for confidence and reassurance within yourself first and then post second; remind yourself of this daily.