This is a little piece I wrote a while ago and I still stand by what I think.
It has become more and more apparent to me that we live in a society where we seek social validation through all the different social media platforms. Many ( notice I didn’t say all!) girls post more revealing pictures of themselves because they know that this will bring them more likes and followers, some guys pose with their newest purchases and flex their muscles in the gym (or outside ) Don’t get me wrong some of these images are encouraging body positivity of all shapes and sizes, telling stories and sharing different experiences but most of these images are there for us to see and envy (because that’s what a lot of us subconsciously end up doing)
For some people, social media is about sharing aspects of their life casually and inspiring others but there are people who need likes and comments to feel a certain way about themselves. They need others to know that they have hit a certain pedestal and need to feel important. I am not slashing anyone that does this, these are just my thoughts, if you feel the need within yourself to build up a persona online then maybe there is something about yourself that you need to work on?
A couple of years ago, I went to a concert with my dad to see my favourite band, the experience was great, we had standing tickets and were in the middle of the whole crowd. Now I’m pretty average height and I could see relatively fine in between all the people in front of me, however the minute the band came on stage everyone’s hands went up in the air. It wasn’t to cheer the band on, oh no, ALL the mobile phones were out to film every second of the concert. I admit I did pull my phone out and film the concert a few times but maybe 30-60 seconds at a time. It was very difficult to actually see the stage and there was a lady in front of me who was filming and sending the videos to every social platform she seemed to be a part of.
So my question is, when did we stop to live in the moment? When did we stop and just enjoy our surroundings? Our friends and our loved ones? The older generation watches us and probably feels sad that we spend so much time living through social media rather than just actually living. I’ve noticed lately every where I go people are using their phones; friends at a dinner take part in a photoshoot before actually eating their food, couples pose millions of pictures online to show everyone how in love they are, others tweet every action of their day.
People are using Snapchat and Instagram stories to show everything, where is the privacy? Everything is on display, you can follow a random person on Instagram and scroll through their pictures and be able to tell their life without having to ask them directly.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am also guilty of sharing things on social media and there was a time where I did Snap something everyday, but it was times where I didn’t take my phone out that I created the most memorable moments. It is so easy to miss something when you’re trying to open up your social media to share something. My Facebook was always filled with me ‘checking in’ at a location or a new picture/ selfie. Nowadays if I decide to post something it is usually a day or two after rather the same night.
When I’m out and about I love to capture a few pictures but 9 times out of 10 I get caught up in the moment and forget to use my phone. Why do people feel the need to snap their entire night from the minute you’re getting ready with your friends to the second you’re in your bed at the end of the night? What is it inside you that feels the needs to show everyone how much of a good time you are having? I guess what irritates me is the necessity to almost perform on social media that you’re having a good time because you want to convince others around you that you are. What happened to having a good time for yourself?
A few weeks ago I was walking across the embankment in Central London, it was a beautiful sunny day and yes I did pull my phone out and took a picture but then I just stood there and watched the world go by and my brain and everything that was frazzling around in my mind momentarily stopped and I relaxed and as basic as that sounds I do believe we need to do that more in our lives. Enjoy each moment, actually live it. Or in this instance, just stop and breathe.
Sometimes when I talk to my parents they tell me about the things they got up to when they were my age, through the way they describe it and their faces, I can tell that their memories are really wonderful. They are able to portray this picture without a need of a physical image to show me. Sometimes I envy them, they lived in a much simpler time, everything was so much more appreciated and sometimes I do think that because everything is so accessible we take it for granted without realising it.
Now I’m not telling people to stop using their phones, but I do believe we should find a balance of what we share with social media and what we keep for ourselves. Social media is very much starting to consume our lives. If you surround yourself with people that only validate you through your social channels then you are spending time with the wrong people. If you’re having a night out and your priority is to snapchat the entire night rather than have a good time with your friends, maybe you should re-think your priorities.
You only get one life, don’t live the majority of it through social media.
Be nice to one another,
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