The number of likes and comments on your post is directly proportional to your self-esteem. Makes sense? It sounds so wrong but it’s utterly true. Most of us are on social media in some form or the other. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc have started to take over our lives. We feel the need to check our social media accounts first thing when we wake up in the morning, before we even manage to get out of bed. In fact, social media is a reason for a lot of fights within families and couples as well. This is simply because we are so focused on seeking validation from people on social media who may or may not care about us, we tend to ignore how posting everything online makes people close to us feel. Just like everything else, social media comes with its set of pros and cons. Initially, the reason social media took off so quickly is because of its ease to completely cut the barrier of distance and time.
You can use these apps to talk to family and friends living thousands of miles away, reconnect with old classmates that you have lost touch with, read about topics you were passionate about, advertise on these portals to reach a wider audience, etc. The opportunities are countless within the world of technologies when used correctly. However, when you push to the dark side of social media, you tend to realize the grave cons it comes with. These days, social media has become to number one contributor to stalking; people’s lives aren’t as private anymore as all the information you need is posted online. It doesn’t end just there, people have started using social media as a method of self-validation. It sounds so ridiculous at the thought of it, however, we have all felt that way knowingly or unknowingly. “My profile picture got only 20 likes and her profile picture got 100 likes”, “I look better than her in that picture but no one has commented on my picture but hers already got 20 comments”, “I have checked in to such a nice resort in such an exotic location but how come no one seems to care?” Sound familiar? Similar thoughts have crossed our minds every now and then.
Every time the notifications tab shows a new like or your phone beeps with a new comment, you start getting excited. It doesn’t even matter who it is or what they said; just the fact that someone showed some attention to your post is enough to increase your self-esteem by two folds. We tend to post articles about the news that are going viral or topics that are trending just to show people that we are in the loop. However in the loop are we really? It doesn’t even matter if these articles align with our thoughts and beliefs; we go ahead and share it anyway. So many just hit the share button without really even reading what the article is about. What’s the point then? We are just trying to prove to people that we are so informed and popular, however, in the real sense, we are neither. Someone liking your photo or commenting on your post or following you or re-tweeting your tweet really means very little in the real world. What really matters is would these people be by your side when you needed them in person?
The world of social media and the Internet is an easy escape route for everyone. It makes you feel better about yourself without really doing anything. It makes someone else feel popular just because a few people mindlessly hit that like button. You may have 1000 followers in the virtual world but do you have even 10 of those people by your side in the real world? That is the real test. It doesn’t matter what people think of you in the virtual world, heck it doesn’t quite matter what they think of you in the real world either. What matters the most is what you think of yourself.
If you are confident in yourself, petty things like social media won’t push you towards validating yourself. We have become so comfortable sitting this side of the screen that we have started to lose touch with reality. One negative comment can ruin your day, one unexpected like from a special someone can get you glowing. People have stopped caring in the real sense. Who wants to make an effort when all validation needs is a click of a button? Take note: your worth isn’t measured by the likes, comments or followers you have online but in your ability to love, keep comments to yourself, care and appreciate offline.
Feature image via WeHeartIt