If you clicked this expecting a relationship article, I'm sorry. I'm single and have no business giving out tons of relationship advice. But I do have a slight issue with how enterprises prey on those who want hundreds of likes on their posts and pictures. For future reference, I can't hate on filters or fun little imagery that people use for photography purposes. I love Snap Chat filters! But retouching apps and photoshop-like programs are problematic. And they are only one of the things promoting the 'like' culture. If you haven't observed it, let me explain.
Social media plays the leading role in image altering, and because you only need a connection through a device that is the size of your palm to see what the rest of the world is doing, we tend to compare ourselves to what we see there. And don't say you have never done that. We've all compared ourselves to someone in one way or another. It doesn't have to be appearance.
But in this case, it is. For Instagram, I've heard individuals boast about deleting a picture because it didn't have ten likes or more. This is worrisome because one: some of these pictures have been heavily edited even though that person shouldn't feel like they need to go that far, and two: no ones content should be based on how many likes they get (or 'hearts' in this case).
The other issue is the false promotion of diet products and photo improvement software on the app. I'm not saying all diet ads are bogus; I'm merely saying that anything worth trying may not come from a celebrities page because not all of them even use the product. How did they get the results then? Well, considering they are famous and wealthy most of the time, they have trainers.
As far as photo improvement software goes, it's damaging psychologically. Take it from someone who read magazines and weighed herself every day in high school. Or listen to bloggers who have witnessed this and even cut the app from their life.
Michael Byers who wrote an article on how insane the process Instagram Queens go through is, with some frowned upon verbiage, explains this (link here). He may be a bit cynical, but he makes a good point: Instagram is, in a way, madness. In fact, it's become an addiction. And the whole idea of deleting an under liked picture makes it sound even more insane.
This addiction also applies to Facebook, which has now included emojis as reactions besides the traditional like. Some individuals practically live on Facebook, whether it be games, messages, or constantly updating their feed. But it doesn't end here.
Most or all social media has some reaction to validate the user. This validation can consume someone. This is the core of 'like' culture. When the real world doesn't give you enough, thousands of strangers can.
But what happens when you want more validation than another user? What lengths will someone go to so they can achieve that, and maybe end up on the popular page?
It's scary to think this is a reality now. When, in fact, there's not much you can fake. Reality and life can only be shaped so much until the fake part shows, and not many can do that every day. So why do we make our lives online that way?
I ask myself this when I realize this consumes adults and teens, and even children. The addiction and validation can make or break someone's self-esteem, or worth. Instead of leaning on social media to help define us, and even changing who we are for it, we should be unfiltered. Wear makeup, take a goofy picture, do you, but know that what you put out there is who people think you are. And if that's not true, and it stresses you out to be yourself online, maybe take a break and realize that some things are better in moderation.
The world is not on our devices; it is right in front of us. The invention is only supposed to connect us and let us express ourselves, among other things. But don't forget who you are. No one is perfect, and we all struggle with something.
No one has to put it out there if they are not comfortable doing so, which is normal but don't make social media your life. There may be snippets and funny moments documented for the world to see, and there will always be, but don't let that keep you from being healthy and happy.