The understatement of the century might be “Facebook has had a pretty good run.” The website, born out of Harvard’s brightest drop-out just ten years ago, has completely revolutionized the way we share information. How did our socially-predisposed selves ever do without it?
It seems that today we can barely walk down the street without Instagramming a particularly beautiful spot of sunshine or checking in at our favorite brunch place on Foursquare. Social media has made us crave attention, and the prospect of appearing social, popular, and exciting fuels our activity. If we can’t take a picture and throw on a dozen hashtags, what’s the point? Our pursuit of the perfect-looking life, advertised by social media, could be costing us more than just data.
Not every woman needs validation from others; hats off to our sisters who can rock trends, work crazy jobs, or practice alternative eating lifestyles (put your hands in the air, vegans) without caring whether someone approves. Not all of us have the confidence to live outside the box. That’s why social media is so enticing. A shared platform where everyone goes to update their lives, vent their frustrations, and share experiences, inevitably establishes a community – and that community of friends and family can build your confidence and empathize with your struggles. Your 500 friends will do their best to cheer you up when a grumpy selfies surfaces. Comments of concern and care feel good to read. But we could be nursing a dependence on them.
By now a majority of users admit that social media lives appear to be much cooler and way more exciting than our actual lives. Filtered pictures and exaggerated statuses cast a rosy hue on what we do on the daily, but that concert pic or relationship status change may be simultaneously harming our friends’ self-esteems and transforming our ideas of fun – if we’re not constantly doing something update-worthy, we begin to feel bored. Life isn’t a constant beach getaway.
Take a break from posting to social media, it’s time to get real with yourself for a change. Ignoring the craving of outside validation may seem rough at first, but you have to change your attitude about other people’s opinion in order to believe and trust in yourself. Your friends’ and family’s words should be important, but do not constantly post to social media in order to feel satisfied of your life. When you live for the experience and not for the likes on Facebook, you’ll notice a change in what you find important, and how you view yourself. Don’t be a slave to social media.
Resources: personal experience