More than half the world is now on social media. But do we feel more connected?
We are by default expected to be on social media. And if we choose not to, we are in danger of missing out on what our "friends" are up to. We miss out on all the major trends that this empty mainstream media wants us to follow. I call it empty because it generally adds no value whatsoever to our lives knowing who boinked who on Love Island or whatever the "cool" kids are watching these days.
My own relationship with social media has gone through a transformation in the last half a year or so. I am a recovering addict which means I still occasionally fall back into the trap of putting my worth on the amount of likes and follows I get. I still occasionally fill up with self-doubt when I see my follower numbers drop. I instantaneously blame myself for not being interesting enough, or going along with the latest trend or hashtag. I still occasionally visit accounts that cause me to compare my life to these highly curated IG lives. And, yet again, I am left feeling empty and worthless and boring.
When others don't "like" my post instantly, not once do I question whether they've even seen or read it. Not once do I question the intent behind it but go straight to the outcome, which is generally tied to an instant gratification of my ego. Not once do I question myself whether I even want all of what having a high follower number brings. Not once do I question whether I even want to be this visible all the time.
In my most rawest truest self, the answer is always no.
So why do we still fall into these traps that the social media imposes on us?
Because we are conditioned to want to fit in and seek acceptance and validation to our own existence.
We are conditioned to follow and not think for ourselves. We are conditioned to put our worth on our contribution to this world. We are conditioned to use these platforms whether that is in our private lives or professional lives. And the worst of it - we are conditioned to not question any of it.
Well, I am tired of not questioning any of it. And I am tired of the constant need to fit the mould. And I am tired of all these empty "relationships" that our follower count brings. Let's face it...we barely know the people that we follow and that follow us in return. We've not even spoken to the majority of them. And yet...we allow them to devalue our own selves. We allow them to run our lives. Tell me, how is that not killing us softly?
When I am off social media, I feel way more aligned with who I am
and what my inherent worth is.
When I am off social media, I rarely seek external validation or
approval or acceptance for who I am.
When I am off social media, I can hear my own voice.
When I am off social media, I feel so much more full and wholehearted and mindful.
Yet, I still doubt my own decision on whether I should be on it or not. The fear of missing out and having nothing in its place is real. The fear of going with my gut and succumbing to the "right" way of doing things keeps me holding onto my IG handle. The fear of being forgotten and not making the impact I want to make keeps me logging back on.
Our lives are worth so much more than our follower count.
Our daily activities, as mundane or as exciting as they are, are worthy of our full presence without the need to show it to the rest of the world. Our voice is worthy of someone's full attention and not just a passing glance at the mindless scrolling spree.
I demand more. I demand my full worth. I demand to be seen and heard fully, wholeheartedly and mindfully.
And so should you!