Social media has the terrifying potential to consume our minds and manipulate the way we think about ourselves and others. The world on the computer is the most unrealistic and fake concept that has ever been invented. Has anyone ever stopped to think about what Instagram is really about?
Instagram’s true purpose is for showing off the best parts of your life. But this is not an accurate representation of what users’ real lives are like. People mostly post pictures from events like vacations, crazy nights out with friends, and selfies from those couple of days they tried to looked nice. No one ever posts a selfie wearing limited makeup and sweatpants, because it is too realistic.
An article from The Medici Project website describes social media platforms by saying that they are “the places of greatest envy and therefore, greatest struggle.” This speaks very closely to the way I used to feel when I would spend so much time browsing Instagram for new people to envy.
Before deleting my Instagram and Twitter, I used to spend hours mindlessly refreshing my feed as I sat in my room alone on the weekend. Finally, when there was a new post of someone I know at a party, I’d just stare and think about how much I hated them. Social media was my outlet to be a horrible version of myself. When I made the risky decision to leave the virtual world behind eight months ago, I never knew that it would improve my self-esteem and my overall quality of life so much.
Social media always seemed like a competition to me. Who could get the most likes, the most comments about how pretty they are, or the most followers. But who really cares? Having 1,000 followers does not mean that there are 1,000 people who adore you. People don’t typically follow people they like, they follow people they know.
It seems a little bit messed up that our generation is defining success as how many followers you have. Having a lot of followers does not make you cool. I’ve realized that spending your time planning your future and working hard to achieve your dreams is cool.
So, I decided to do something so simple yet so hard:, to stop caring. I used to care more than anything about what other people thought of me, which influenced what I would post. I posted pictures that I thought other people would like. It felt like I was not living my life for myself, which is the biggest mistake I have ever made.
Some might say that social media is a good way to meet new people, but the catfishing epidemic challenges that. The internet is filled with fake people, and legitimately fake people as well. Some might say that social media is a good way to stay connected to people. But it can also cause problems if you are connecting to people who bring out the worst in you. You can block people all you want, but that isn’t exactly how real life works. If it’s not something you would do in person, don’t do it on the internet.
These media platforms that so many of us use every day are skewing our perceptions of life and people. We let stupid tweets and pictures consume our minds and eat away at who we really are.
I used to be a victim of this, but now I feel privileged that I no longer waste my energy criticizing and hating on people who I don’t even care about.