How many of you wake up and the first thing you do is get out your phone and scroll through all your social media apps, I am mostly talking about Snapchat or Instagram. When we go on snapchat we look at everyone’s stories, seeing the new apartment they just got, going to that music festival you couldn’t get tickets for, the amazing trips in different countries, and trying out new amazing food from that new restaurant. But, I mostly want to focus on Instagram and start a conversation on how it can impact us negatively and positively.
I wanted to share my personal experience about Instagram, last summer I was going through a lot I was not happy and went through a hard time. I didn’t want anyone to know how I was feeling so I portrayed a “Happier” version of myself on social media. I saw this quote on Instagram that spoke to me a lot and it said,
“Instagram is your own personal little vision board, use it manifest your visions instead of posting reminders of your pain.” That spoke to me a lot, and decided let me delete all my dumb selfies in my bedroom, pictures I took years ago but reposted on Instagram, and my terrible attempt of drawing the little mermaid and gave up, drew her a sweater. Last summer, I was just so focused on my Instagram so focused on getting a lot of followers and gaining more likes. That was my true happiness during the time, which leads me to the conversation.. The one thing I don’t like about Instagram we are so obsessed with followers who looks at our feed, the likes we get, we have to delete our photo if it doesn’t get more than 100 likes, and how it is a competition to see how “popular” we are and who likes us the most. It can ruin our self esteem feeling as if we aren’t good enough, making us worried we are not living our life to the fullest and we start to view ourselves as “Lame”
I was so worried every time I lost a follower or didn’t get that many likes, I began to think to myself “Am I not pretty, fun, or interesting?” I began that summer planning trips to go upstate and go to the city, thinking you know if I go around and have fun people will be more interested and think “Hey Brooke is pretty cool!” The thing I am trying to point out is, I was more excited to take some cool photos and show everyone what I was doing! People are so invested in taking “The Best Photo” editing the photo, thinking of a clever caption, and watching all the likes come up on their home screen that they don’t enjoy the moment the time being on the time or hanging out with your friends, we are more focused on taking cute photos and posting the picture on Instagram. Also, Instagram is not a way for you to be “happy” I am not happy how we are in a society that we get so excited if we get so many likes on a photo or how many followers we have, that is not true happiness. Again, this is just my point of view on Instagram but I believe it takes over people’s lives and we don’t look beyond social media. I admit, I am guilty towards being obsessed with Instagram with reposting photos because it didn’t get as many likes, and if I hit 200+ likes on my photo I get excited. But, we have to remember this.. It is just a photo. We don’t know their whole story and who they are as a photo we just how they want to portray themselves on Social Media.
I shared my views on social media when I discussed about my body issues and the way I viewed myself based on, seeing girls looking amazing on Instagram and me feeling depressed and not good enough. One of my followers on Instagram, Mike had reached out to me about my blog post about my discussion about being body positive. I feel we need a platform to discuss the good and bad about social media and how we should change it, make it more positive besides feeling as if we are in a competition. Mike had told me he is working to become a psychologist and specializing in eating disorders. We both talked about how we struggled with our body images. Hoe we both take a day out and to focus on ourselves and the process of our self improvement. I want to share his point of view on the direction and influence of social media, (Also he should definitely start a blog because I saw so much truth in his writing!)
“The names that time will remember are those who resonate the most to specific audiences. The music created by legacy is composed by many, working collaboratively on a song of purpose, perseverance, insight and wisdom. This is a time where people are hungry for inspiration, compassion, affirmation, and knowledge. People want to learn, and they want to feel what they learn at an emotional level. They want to be entertained while simultaneously amazed. We’re dying for the next real and relatable underdog story. We have no idea who we can trust with our hope and our support, but we invest in those who put themselves on the front line, those who call themselves ‘influencers.’ Simply put, the definition of the term ‘influencer’ has become flexible. What will inspire society to exceed the boundaries that keep them grounded? We need voices that will elevate us and bring us to a new level of lifestyle satisfaction. We need not boundaries, we need more than names. We need heroes. So many characters have dominated Instagram with the image they present to the world, which is far from their authentic personalities. People aren’t required to post their baggage on social media. So we aspire to be like these people who aren’t posting their full selves in their #SundaySelfies. We’re living comparatively at the expense of self esteem. I firmly believe that people should be helping others, without the gratification and vanity brought by popularity. We need to abandon the ‘SELF help’ movement and work toward a ‘help others’ movement. We need to refuse boastful pride and judgment and move toward kindness and compassion. I’m noticing a trend. I see people shy away from presenting their valuable thoughts and ideas to the world because they feel that they aren’t enough. They refrain from posting their personal progress-whether it’s career progress, academic achievement, gym accomplishments, or anything that anyone else may say “Well…someone else did it better.” For the sake of self esteem, let’s change the direction that influence is heading. Let’s do all that we can to become influencers in our own regard. Let’s be more than just a picture on someone else’s Instagram feed. Let’s take back the role of ‘hero’ in our own stories and let us do so as our authentic, real, raw, selves. Let’s embrace imperfection and acknowledge love and progress for those who have come a long way with us. Let’s empower others and be part of the story rather than scroll through and pass through like ghosts. A movement is started with a single step.”
I believe we should end the stigma of the “Competition” that we see on Instagram and focus more on encouraging people ! Yes, I do believe Instagram and Social Media is a great platform to show your hobbies and ideas and It’s a great step in the right direction to become noticed by companies! But, at the same time the competition aspect can really damage a person’s self esteem and hurt them in the process. So my goal is to end, the struggle to become noticed or feel “good”and feel confident and post whatever you feel like posting and not be concerned on how people view yourself. Anyways thank you guys for reading this ! I hope we can join together and focus on the positive aspect of Instagram and end the negativity that comes along with it.