If a picture isn’t posted to Instagram, did it really happen?

We live in a fast paced world, where people can get a hold of you at any time  and instant gratification isn’t fast enough. There was a time when you remembered peoples birthdays, telephone numbers and your address book wasn’t attached to an iPhone. The entertainment we had at dinner was our parents challenging us to a quick game of Tick-Tack-Toe on the back of the place-mat. Lately I’ve been feeling that our life’s worth is measured by the likes you get and kind comments received. Are you any less loved by the people around you because you had 20 less notification on your birthday then last year? Are your friends better then mine because of the amount of social media traffic we have together? But what I think it comes down to is Buzzfeed the new Byron?

Perception

This to me, is the most important because social media allows us to be perceived in a light that we want others to see. Think of anyone who is a social media junkie or honestly just has a Facebook and the life that they depict on Facebook and Instagram (to name a few). Ok, now think about the life that you know they really live. This mask that warps the reality around us but we enjoy wearing it.

This is an avenue to relationships too. PicStiches of #tbt from college or long posts to your significant other- are created for no other reason than they want people to see it, comment on it, like it. People put their best selfie forward. What everyone doesn’t see is the Wizard of Oz, you know, the man behind the curtain running the whole smoke and mirrors act. The real life drama and arguments are buried deep underground. This can have people question their own relationships and worry that theirs isn’t as perfect and prim. This perception has created relationships that don’t really exist.

Passive Aggressive Posting

No. Step away from Facebook! Don’t do this, it’s tacky, and no lover is going to love that you just dished all of your nonsense to the entire inter-web to read and gawk over. It makes issues worse while creating new ones. Your friends aren’t that dumb to not know what’s happening. Tweeting or posting statuses like “I just hate when people act like that” or passive aggressive lyrics like your 13 just isn’t how to handle your issues.

A relationship is private and creates a special bond between you and another person. Trust and love are main ingredients, matching profile pictures does not a relationship make. Instead we see people turn to the masses of social media instead of their rock when times are tough. I don’t know if it’s a matter of justification or feeling better about yourself but we are turning away from the several close people who love us, to hear the thoughts of people who really don’t care.

Comparison

Constant “fun” status and picture uploads detailing the lives of those around you can make anyone feel slighted by the social media gods. It happens at the blink of an eye. You are sitting waiting to be called in for your eye appointment and you start flipping through Facebook. A post catches your eye. In a few short moments you become a terrible green-eyed monster of jealousy. You can’t move on because the thoughts surround this post have consumed you. You compare your life to everyone around you and come up with the only logical explanation, your life is THE WORST. Your ‘friends’ have all of these great things happen to them and what do you have today?

Another Facebook friend got engaged while you still get the dreaded “your next” at every family event. Someone ran in a really cool race and they got some amazing pictures because they’re so in shape. These days, appearance is everything. People are more concerned validation from the rest of the world that they’re having fun, than actually enjoying themselves.

Brag Culture

If someone buys you flowers you have to take a picture and upload it to all social media platforms. After all, what is the point of being happy if not everyone knows about it? The fact of the matter is, brag culture has resulted in us being too busy narrating our lives online that we’re forgetting to live them. Reminincing isn’t looking at the pictures you looked good in, it’s the long nights of dancing, hanging out with friends or experiencing something new.

I love photography and documenting the details of my life. But I hate when I become consumed with the digital world then the people around me. I hate when my friends and I can’t even have a conversation because someone is interrupted with a text. I am pro-selfie but there is a time and a place for everything. I personally need to start focusing in on the people around me and get my fucking face out of my phone.

Likes = Love

Followers give you likes and the joining of the two (likes and followers) gives you a status in the social media world we all love to hate. Every time I open my Facebook app people are having an amazing time, somewhere, exotic, not in Pennsylvania. I am pretty sure a friend of mine doesn’t actually work he just travels and makes me feel bad about myself!

Every picture that we post is the best of the umpteenth ones we hated and looked ugly in. We chose the best pose, lighting and filter to represent us.

The same goes for friends. When I first had Facebook it was an unstated competition to see who had the most friends. You worried if someone didn’t post on your wall. I must admit that I really no longer care about my “friends” on social media and if they decide to “unfriend” me. I have to be honest, I don’t care that the frat boy I met at PSU once got a new car or that girl in my business group broke up with her boyfriend.

Now this isn’t everyone because a lot my friends aren’t on Facebook or don’t have an Instagram. This is just a part of my life that at times I feel completely consumed by. I don’t know why any of it matters to me but I feel like need to be accepted by social media, the same way I wanted the popular kids to ask me to sit with them in 8th grade. Comment below I would love to hear your thoughts! Especially if you think a lifestyle blogger shouldn’t be writing such articles.

Until next time.

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