Social Media. Ugh.
We’re living in a pretty scary time. Social media is running our lives and determining what we post, how we post, what clever caption we need to put on a picture, and so on. Is this ruining our happiness? Is it doing its intended job of helping us connect with others? I’m not too sure anymore.
The other day I was on the phone with my friend basically discussing how checking our Instagram and Facebook is so depressing sometimes. Maybe depressing is a strong word, but it’s really easy to fall into the comparison trap when checking social media.
Seeing everyone’s perfect selfie in cute clothes and looking so modelesque. Or “perfect” pictures with boyfriends/fiancés/husbands – I always wonder if the couple is really as happy as they are displaying to the world.
I don’t want to dis the couples and people out there who truly are happy, that’s great – but I just wonder how much Instagram runs it. Having to show everyone what you’re doing to show them how cool of a life you have. That’s a lot of pressure, right? Needing to take a cute photo to impress who? Random followers who you rarely see in person? Are you trying to get a lot of likes on your picture to feel liked and loved?
The number of likes on a picture or your following does not define you. Trust me, I fell victim to wanting a ton of likes and always increase my following, too. But when we start to become fixated on this number is where it can become too much.
I post pictures of food on my Krolls_korner Instagram account and post when I have fun on my TV segments – I post pictures because well, I’m a food blogger and love food. I post about me on TV because I want viewers for the station.
But yes – it sure as heck feels really good when someone comments, “Yum, this looks so good – I’m going to make it!” or “You look pretty in that dress, I love your hair!” These are the comments that keep us consistently posting “happy” content. And I think it’s turning into a scary downward spiral of having to keep up.
When it comes to social media and my food-blogging world, I have been feeling a lot of anxiety towards it. Especially because I’m not a full-time blogger. You can say it was almost a meltdown. I constantly am seeing people post pictures of beautiful food and wonder how the heck they have all this time to make their food look that good.
It stresses me out thinking I need to go make an amazing smoothie concoction with peanut butter perfectly drizzling down the side of the Weck jar and post it on the gram too. Ugh, that is downright awful! Literally getting pressured by social media to post a picture of beautiful food. Stupid.
It’s gotten to be almost unhealthy – this pressure to post 1-2x/day, make sure I stay engaged by replying to comments and commenting on photos. It’s easy to get caught up in it – and I understand social media is business for many people – It just gets exhausting sometimes. Ya feel me?
This beauty-obsessed society we live in is real. And I’m scared for the generation growing up in it.
We need to start posting pictures because we want to, not because we think Instagram is going to like the perfect piece of toast for #ToastTuesday. We need to stop relying on other people to decide if your memories are worthy of being remembered, even if the picture doesn’t get a ton of likes.
“Much of being on Instagram is about projecting the best -version of your life that there is – a far cry for the much more messy reality.” I read that quote somewhere and resounded with it so well.
When I post a picture – no one knows that I could have been in an argument with someone minutes before posting, or crying about the loss of a loved one…it is social media, I can write a caption I want with any gorgeous picture I want when I want and no one knows what may have happened moments before.
You all get my point. Nobody’s life is how it looks on Instagram.
Enjoy being in the moment. Not everything you do (or eat) needs to be shared on social media. Your best memories happen far away from a 4.7 inch screen.
Tawnie Kroll of Clovis is a registered dietitian nutritionist, whose blog is krollskorner.com. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.