A synopsis of my Instagram feed at any given moment: dog – girl with friend – lunch – selfie with a million hashtags – another pet – another lunch – another selfie.
I understand that something like Instagram is meant to share photos, but how many times does someone need to put a filter on their salad and hashtag ‘#healthyeating’? This speaks to a bigger problem – when did social networking become a search for acceptance? Why do I care if 156 people I rarely speak to witness my healthy eating? This is such a peculiar aspect of our ever-changing culture, but it’s something we all deal with. Let’s find the line between sharing to be apart of an interesting conversation and sharing to find approval in everyday choices.
We’ve all witnessed the selfie. My first question is: WHY? I’m no saint; I’ve taken one or two pictures of myself, but these are entirely in vain. Picturing my grandmother or even my mom ever pointing a camera at themselves is laughable. Our society has induced this narcissism that I don’t think many people understand or even notice. Because of consumerism we are told, “make yourself look the best (according to our standards), then ask everybody else if you’re acceptable (according to our standards).” Then we end up with a post that is something along the lines of “give me 150 likes or I’ll commit suicide.” My second question is WHY do you care? It sounds cliché, but do what you feel is right and not what will get you likes or online acceptance.
Don’t get me wrong, I looooove me some Twitter. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to reconnect, share life events and to begin or join intellectual conversations. However, there’s something to be said for the difference between sharing pictures from a party you went to for all of your friends to see and sharing pictures from a party you went to in order to prove you actually went. I’ve been guilty of the latter too, but now I ask myself why I ever bothered. Post about things because you think it’s funny or interesting, not because you think other people will think it’s funny or interesting.
Would you enjoy reading about someone’s argument with their significant other? Probably not. Would you use all 140 characters to describe what you ate for lunch today? No way. Start to speak your mind. You probably found this article on your Facebook or your Twitter. And boy, am I glad you did. But let’s just all silently agree to keep this sharing to a minimum, because I can guarantee 95% of your friends do not care about what you did at the gym today. The major point that I’m trying to make is that you shouldn’t care if your “followers” care or not. (Would this be a good time for a “yolo”?)
Happy sharing, everybody! And remember – sharing is caring. Would you start a physical conversation about how awesome you looked in the picture you took of yourself this morning? If the answer is no, then don’t post one!
Featured image via Flickr