Swipe, double-tap, favorite, like, repeat. It’s become part of our daily routine. We are personally offended if someone doesn’t like our picture on Instagram or favorite our tweet. Self-validation and approval is no longer a want in the society we live in, it is a NEED.
The other day, I was riding on the bus and there were two girls who were having a conversation about their struggle of finding a new roommate. The conversation went something like this:
Girl 1: “Ugh, seriously, we’re going to end up having to live with some kind of weirdo.”
Girl 2: “That would be an absolute nightmare. Didn’t you say you got an email from a girl that looked relatively normal though?”
Girl 1: “Yeah I stalked her on Instagram and she only gets like maybe 80 likes on her posts.”
…I’m sorry, but is this some kind of joke?
Am I the only one whose eyebrows raised?! Somewhere on the lease agreement must say “Tenant must receive an average of 150 likes per post on Instagram or security deposit will be withheld.”
I recently came across an article on Elite Daily and Elle (link found here) and it was absolutely inspiring.
A very short synopsis of the article is that this absolutely STUNNING young girl from Australia, named Essena O’Neill, had been paid to post Instagram posts in order to promote products like dresses and bikinis. This “Instagram Famous” model had an enormous following and was very influential considering this girl could literally wear a burlap sack and look like she was on her way to the Grammy’s.
One day Essena realized that what she was doing was, as she put it “not real”. She then re-captioned all of her previous posts and explained the behind the scenes version of this perfect photo. She disclosed how many times she had to retake the “candid” photo, how she would have eaten very little that day in order to maintain her figure, and other aspects behind the picture.
YOU GO, GIRL.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know if I could go back through my pictures and admit how much I was sucking in, or how much thought I put into my “candid” pose just to make sure it was flattering. We all want to seem fabulously effortless while still looking like we have our life together and are as happy as a clam.
How many times do we wake up after we post a picture or tweet, and peer through barely-open eyes onto a bright, and unforgiving screen, to check to make sure we’re getting the amount of likes we deserve.
..or maybe that’s just me…awkward…
EVEN SO, I thought it was incredibly admirable for Essena to recognize, and publicly acknowledge her own need for the approval of others. I hope to follow her example and use social media as an outlet to express myself with the sole purpose of expressing myself, and my ideas, instead of seeking the approval of others.
Until next time,