Don't Let Social Media Determine Your Self-Worth

Don't Let Social Media Determine Your Self-Worth

Be present in your own life and see where it takes you.
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Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. Think back to the last time you went on any of these social media sites, or any other ones for that matter. The point of these sites is to stay in touch with friends and family, and stay connected with the happenings in their lives. However, these sites have now become a means for individuals to showcase how "fun" and "perfect" their lives are.

We upload the very best pictures and most exciting events in our lives, and then broadcast them to our "friends." Then, countless hours are spent scrolling through social media sites to analyze the details of everyone else's lives. This is a mindless activity that subconsciously generates a feeling of inferiority when comparing your life to that of people in your community. However, no one posts about the negative aspects of their lives. Instead, what social media illustrates is a selective portion of an individual's life—an airbrushed, polished version. Even though we know this is what occurs, we still compare our own unedited lives to the carefully created profiles of our peers. This is an unfair evaluation that perpetuates a sense inferiority, loneliness, and jealousy within ourselves.

Additionally, the senses of inferiority and superiority are reinforced by the notion of "likes." The larger the amount of likes you have, the more successful and popular your post was. Conversely, a low number of likes indicates your post was not supported by your peers, which has the potential to elicit emotions of inferiority. Many times, I have seen friends delete posts due to the fact they did not achieve as many likes as they intended to get. Evidently, social media is being used as a reinforcer of popularity rather than a clear illustration of one's life.

In this quest to obtain the best pictures and coolest stories, we are forgetting to live in the moment and have real experiences. Recently, I visited the city of Tulum, in Mexico, and went to a site of Mayan ruins. Standing in place with so much ancient history, I was blown away. I then realized that the majority of people on my tour were consistently snapping pictures of the ruins or taking selfies with the buildings in the back. I overheard a girl next to me say to her friend, "I can't wait to Instagram this!" Rather than embracing the history and culture of the surroundings, people were instead focused on documenting it for future reference or social media posts. I'm not saying that we should refrain from taking photos or using social media, but we should be careful to live and experience situations first, and then document them.

The constant comparison to others on social media with the intent of making your life "just as amazing" as that of those around you is unhealthy and unnecessary. It stops you from having quality time and novel experiences, and creates unnecessary stress. Rather than picking that perfect filter or taking 50 selfies to find the best one, enjoy what is happening around you.

It's ironic. We craft these perfect posts and images to show our peers the fun and joy in our lives, but doing so causes us to miss out on the experiences that would elicit these emotions. Take pictures as mementos, as reason to reminisce on great experiences with friends and family. Pictures speak a thousand words, and are the perfect reminders of the events in our lives. But keep them as just that, mementos, rather than a means of competition and popularity. Recognize that social media posts are not accurate representations of others' lives, and learn to be content and happy with the life you live.

Everyone has good days and bad days, and in the end, we are all human. Do not give false representations the power to diminish your self-esteem and self-worth. Be present in your own life and see where it takes you. You might just find more than you expect.

Cover Image Credit: sexyfoodtherapy.com

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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