Social Media

With social media, it is not uncommon for people to try to define themselves in order to attract a certain group of friends or to gain likes on an Instagram post. This sort of labeling oneself used to be an activity reserved for insecure kids in high school, but social media has pressured people of all ages into trying to look “cool” and glamorizing their lives. People forget that life is not a popularity contest, and they focus on impressing others rather than enjoying themselves. This is apparent in the “fitness” and “health” posts, the pseudo-artistic snaps of sunsets, and deleted photos that did not get an ample amount of likes within ten minutes. This reveals a dark truth about society–people tend to value appearance over content.

Instead of living their lives as they please, people are bogged down by the pressure to impress others. They often take on a persona to accomplish this. People also tend to faun over “fitness gurus,” as if exercising makes someone a better person. As a result of the attention (whether it comes from Instagram followers or real-life friends), people allow their diet and exercise routine to become their identity. “The fit girl” has a positive connotation, implying that the girl has accomplished greatness through diet and exercise. It would be optimal, however, for people to not try and fit themselves into these societal constraints because humans are too complex to be defined by one activity or even passion.

Unfortunately people do not only define themselves by what they do, but also by how many people cheer them on. People may broadcast their “funny” conversation with a friend for likes or retweets, they may delete a picture on Instagram if it only has a few likes, or they may wait for the “prime time” to post a picture. They waste so much time and energy worrying about what other people think and trying to accumulate likes and followers that they forget to live. Life is not about having dozens of likes on a photo; it is about living in the moment and doing what feels right. Activity on social media should not be driven by the need for approval or the desire to impress others, but instead to connect with others.

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