Social media is a huge part of everyone's life nowadays. When walking to class everyone is on their phones listening to music, texting, and mindlessly scrolling through social media. This has been happening ever since people started getting iPhones but I realized that mindless walking during college. This summer, I realized the effects of what social media has on us all: comparing.
This summer, lots of college students are busy. The effort to get ahead in school or to make as much as humanly possible for the next school year. The routine is to get up, work, and repeat. Some take on summer classes along with a full-time job. After a long day at work, I hop on Instagram because... well because that's just the thing to do. This led me to picture-perfect poses with excellent filters complimenting the girl's skin tone, her perfect bikini body, and a soft smile. It looks like they could be on the cover of a fashion magazine. This isn't just one picture.
This is a whole feed full of people getting the perfect lighting and the clearest picture.
After working a long shift at work, I often sit there wondering, "how do they have time to do all of this? Don't they work?" You may be getting a decent paycheck but what happened to summer memories on the water or spending summer nights out with your family around a campfire? So while I sit there on my phone, I get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). There are not enough hours in the day and not enough weeks of summer to do all that you want to do in the summer.
Not only do you fear you aren't doing enough, but that you don't look good enough. You see a photo of a girl with a gorgeous body in a swimsuit facing a body of water with the sun setting in the background. You think, "I wish I was that pretty... she is so skinny, I could never get to that size... I wish I had her life, it seems perfect..." Here is your wakeup call: No one's life is perfect.
Instagram feeds this thought that I have to look good to post a picture. I have to have the right look or the right lighting to get the most likes. So that people will notice me. WRONG. We should not be putting in so much effort to look good for others who, it is possible, you have never even spoken to.
We look for the approval of Instagram likes because it shows that you had one of the best pictures on their feed or you looked the best.
I, for one, am still guilty of highlighting the best features of myself. I know lots of girls who go to extremes to look good and get the perfect filter or the perfect caption. I know girls who will say, "Like my Instagram picture!" It gives them the confidence that they are doing life right. Live your life just the way you want to. Don't look for others approval online. When did Instagram become who is living the best life? The one you have is great.
For those who made serious bank this summer, good for you! You may not have had the time to do everything you want, but you still got a break from the stress and work that is school. Live your life the way it is without documenting it. Don't compare yourself to others because you made the most out of your summer in your own way.