Have you ever just sat on your phone staring at your social media page waiting for the likes and comments to just roll in? I know I have; I’m sure we’ve all done it. Thing is, it isn’t we’re hoping for a ton of likes and comments, we’re hoping to be noticed. Social Media transports many of us “non-millennials” back to our school days.
Days when we all just wanted to be popular, trendy, the class president or valedictorian. Because of social media, we have the opportunity to voice our deepest thoughts, opinions, rants or even desires. We’ve all been given the chance to be writers, artists, influencers and even philosophers.
As social media has begun to grow, so too have the bigger issues that are rarely discussed openly. The doors have been blown wide open for a harsher and much wider range of bullying, identity theft and even shaming. What’s worse, the shaming isn’t always done by others, but by ourselves. We shame ourselves because we are now in constant competition with millions of strangers.
Stay with me, I’m not saying social media is a bad tool at all, it can be used for good and has been. At any given moment, we can spread kindness by donating to causes that pop up on our feeds daily. Families can be re-connected, jobs can be found, criminals caught… because of social media. What we often forget is that social media is a tool just like anything else, except it becomes overused and abused too.
More time gets spent on social media now, then time spent with family.
When is the last time you had an electronic device in the bathroom with you? If we’re being totally honest here, do any of us drive without feeling the urge to glance at our phones to check social media; didn’t think so.
I have worked with influencers, and been one myself, so I personally know how critical and harsh we can be on ourselves to “show up” the next person. I have listened to and watched friends and family discuss what they’ve seen on Facebook or Instagram; some things are funny, others harsh. I’ve witnessed how others troll social media, smirk, take selfies, do live videos or stream moments to share.
Yin and Yang come full circle.
How would you feel, right now, if something you posted just went viral? Would it add any meaning or value to your life at all?
The easy answer is, no, however, going viral could open lots of doors to opportunities.
We spend more time trying to impress people we don’t even know, just for a few minutes of fame. But why?
It’s truly amazing how a normal person like myself, can take a photo or video, and make it look like it was done by a professional.
We have become shameful on the outside, but on the inside, we’re shameful of ourselves. We’re always comparing ourselves to the person next to us, asking ourselves, what can we do better for our next post.
There have been many moments I’ve shook my head after being out running an errand that I see some random person striking a pose for a selfie to share on social media. Then I think, why can’t I do that? I feel so awkward taking photos when other people are around, is that normal? Why should I be worried about how I look for my next social media post, what value will this bring my life?
I’ve spent many days, and nights, wracking my brain for a creative and unique posts to share. What will others find meaningful or like enough for my posts to “go viral”? I’m always wondering, thinking, brainstorming. I’m doing it now as I write this even, thinking about my next post.
I know many influencers that literally have a calendar that is strictly devoted to what they will post. There is even software and apps now that assists with posting automatically so we don’t have to. Time saver, yes! Then many influencers also have schedules that have days devoted to photo shoots, editing content and videos, and staging so they can remain consistent with their posting.
And don’t get me started on all the fads with studio tools, software, lights, camera and oh yeah… action. And we do this all to have better and better posts to share to be seen and accepted by complete strangers.
Again, I ask… why? What’s the point?
We continually seek acceptance, even though on the inside our insecurities are screaming at us that we don’t need this type of acceptance. We subjugate ourselves to embarrassment and people talking, all so we can catch a moment that we could’ve spent living life and actually being in that moment. Is it fleeting that we want acceptance and popularity?
There are so many moments in life that we miss out on now because we are too focused on what others think. People we’ve never met and probably never will meet; but that doesn’t matter. For us to lessen the low self-esteem many of us struggle with, we are in a constant state of flux when it comes to being seen and heard.
Families now sit and “watch” TV, however, half, or all, are on their devices and not actually watching TV together as a family. Dinners are ate in silence because everyone’s on their phones. Teenagers are spending hours staging their spaces taking a hundred photos, all to only choose the “perfect” one to share with their followers. How does any of this make any sense?
I don’t know about you, and I’m not judging anyone because I’m guilty as well, but I’m over being so hard on myself over what and when I post. I’m done feeling shame because my confidence isn’t exactly 100%. I’m over what others think of me. If I share and post anything, it will be because I want to and it’s something I’m proud of, likes be damned. I’m willing to let go of social media making me feel I’m always in competition with myself and others. Are you?
So, what if some fitness models post gets a thousand likes and mine only has five; congrats to them. The only thing that matters is sharing what bring us happiness and joy to share. Let social media be the tool it’s supposed to be, not a crutch or another form of high school. Let’s all agree, the only person we need to impress, is ourselves. Ain’t nobody got time for shame and there’s no shame in our game!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vina Kent is a writer and author, mom to 3, an anthropologist and historian and owner of SoTrendz Management. Vina is in the business of managing influencer and businesses social media accounts and working also to help land her clients brand deals and collaborations.
She also runs her own social media pages geared just for the working mom. She coaches moms that work from home and need help juggling the day to day tasks of business owner and mama. She can be found online mostly on Instagram @theceomama, but can be caught from time to time on Facebook too.