In a world with an endless amount of social media platforms and communication outlets, it seems almost necessary to update friends and family on simply every exciting adventure in your daily life. But, only the positive things tend to be published for the world to see, leaving your life story on social media nothing but perfect.
If you do something cool, you post a picture. The better picture the more likes. The more likes, the more popular you feel. That’s the world we live in. Our perceptions of people are often based on their social media presence. How often do you find yourself referring to Instagram or Facebook accounts to figure out what people are doing/who they are dating/where they are in the world. Some people would quickly claim that they don’t participate in this behavior often referred to as “stalking,” but it’s there for the world to see (and everyone does it whether they want to admit it or not).
Your social media presence is beginning to define you. Even job employers turn to LinkedIn to see your prior experience in the job world and “creep” Facebook to see if your life consists of more than Bud Light and house parties. But, that’s not entirely fair…
College students don’t post Instagram pictures of their hard work at their internship, their religiously dedicated library visits to Davis late at night nor their academic achievements. Social media shows the fun in life, the exciting aspects that make others jealous. I’m not saying that party pictures are acceptable by any means, just simply that social media depicts the surface image of a person rather than their daily accomplishments that truly define them as a person.
People live to be public in our generation. If you want people to know you’re recently in a relationship with someone, you can post a multitude of pictures with that person and it becomes apparent (even without updating a Facebook relationship status). Check Instagram to see what they had for lunch, what their outfit of the day is or what they happen to be reminiscing about every Thursday (with #tbt aka throwback Thursday).
This leaves me the question of, if you don’t post a picture, did it even happen? Many would say no.
Say there was a date function last night and you’re wanting to see if ________ went, you would check Facebook, Instagram and Twitter immediately. If there was no sight of any pictures from that particular function, he/she definitely wasn’t there. How does this thought process make sense? Why are we so dependent on social media?
It’s because we have an obsession with knowing what everyone is doing 24/7. We’re obsessed with being public. And the bad news is, it’s only getting worse…
The generation behind those of us currently in college is so consumed with social media and technology that they depend on it. When two middle schoolers are together riding home from school, they obsess over Instagram – who has more likes, look how ugly she looks, why are they dating, I want to be her, on and on and on. I’ve experienced this firsthand in my baby-sitting jobs through the years…
We strive to paint the perfect picture of ourselves on social media when we neglect the necessities in our own daily life. Of course some are more serious in creating the perfect Van Gogh than others, but at the end of the day, we all check in on one another. It’s exhausting. We need to take a step back and value the beauty of our every day existence while maintaining an equal balance of our social media dosage. As always though, it’s easier said than done.