Social Media Does Not Equal Validation

Social Media Does Not Equal Validation

It won't ever provide enough

I have talked time and time again about how much I have a love-hate relationship with social media. We all know it has changed the course of society and potentially not for the better. There are so many things wrong with our mentality surrounding it and how we treat others because of it. I am not claiming to be perfect or to have perfect execution of my social media. However, I am aware of one thing: validation. I bring this up because I was troubled about my use of social media. I have become MORE reserved than I have been in the past and less of a complainer about things and releaser all of my emotions. I was trying to think of the “Why”. Why am I on social media? Why did I post that? What was my intention? How do I respond to it afterward?

When I was 17, Instagram became a thing. I made an account and was really excited! I love sharing photos. There was a time, however, when I would get so discouraged when I posted a photo and not all 100 of my followers liked it. Nowadays I get more likes, but I also post more fulfilling and important content. Back in the day, I used to post a picture of a plate of cookies or my hair in braids. IT WASN’T IMPORTANT. At least what I try to post now is uplifting, meaningful content. Still, none of it matters. Likes don’t matter. And even though I get more likes now than I did before, they still don’t matter. I am also not filled with that same disappointment about how many people didn’t like my photo. Why did I strive for so much approval based on a double tap? There are many reasons why people don’t like someone’s post and it normally isn’t because they don’t like you. Either way, we shouldn’t be striving for validation from others. It is ALWAYS disappointing.

What sparked my inspiration for this article was the fact that I recently rebooted my Twitter. Twitter is the biggest time suck in the world. It used to be my fount (and still is for many) for instant gratification. I rebooted my Twitter to literally ask a former Bachelor contestant to be my plus one to my sister’s wedding. I know…ridiculous, but Blake K. was quite handsome and a classy gentleman. Anywho, I was having an internal struggle if all my recent social media posting was the product of wanting likes or favorites. The truth is I have always struggled with validation when it comes to social media. Maybe I don’t get disappointed when likes don’t reach a certain number anymore, but I used to post things because I wanted specific people to see it and like it. Now don’t get me wrong, I have never posted anything that isn’t true to my character or something that does not represent who I am. I just sometimes would post things so that specific people could like it. If they didn’t, I would get upset. I have recently changed my ways, but upon reflecting on this topic, I realized I don’t do these things in real life. It made me realize that a flaw and issue I struggled with was completely created by social media. If I am not posting anything on social media, I am participating in my daily life not trying to please anyone or make anyone see what I do. If I am posting on social media, I still don’t try to create a me that begs for validation. I thought this was completely strange.

However, it made complete sense. Social media has done weird things to our society! And I have found that this is one of many issues social media creates. Now, maybe you struggle with validation not just on social media. However, that is an issue that only haunts me on social media. Now, as I share more meaningful content and less often, I have come to find a better response. The only “disappointment” I am left with has to do with the work and thought I put into something. It is sometimes disappointing if I share something (for example, this article) insightful and not many people like it. However, I do move on, don’t let it get me down, and celebrate the fact that I was brave to share whatever part of my heart I poured out. It has nothing to do with a number.

I guess what I am trying to say is look at where you seek validation. Since my social media reflection, I have been focusing on getting validation from the only one I need it from: God. As a priest told me in Confession a few weeks ago, never measure yourself up to any measuring stick of the world because you will only be disappointed. That is the truth. We all know it! So look where you seek validation, what your intentions are, the “why” behind your actions, posts, etc., and how you respond afterward. Realize that you are amazing the way you are. You don’t need to measure up to anyone’s validation system because you are perfect the way you are. Seek validation in God alone because He knows how amazing you are! He is the only validation you need! And don’t forget it!

Cover Image Credit: SummitPost

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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I Don't Have To Wear Makeup To Be Beautiful

You don't have to, either.


For about as long as modern makeup/cosmetics/skincare brands have been around, the notion that women have to use any of these cosmetic products to be considered "beautiful" has also been around.

(If you've read my earlier article about red lipstick giving me my confidence back, you would know that I absolutely adore certain skincare/makeup products.)

However, I personally don't believe that I need to wear any kind of makeup to be considered "beautiful." And you don't, either.

I think that we, as a society, have seriously overvalued aesthetic beauty and undervalued the beauty that comes from being a decent, honest, genuine, and kind person. I believe that while makeup has an incredible and transformation-giving effect on women, (and men too, just for the record), that none of us honestly should depend on x, y, and z products to make us feel that we are beautiful, or that our self worth and sense of self should be tied up in how many likes a selfie of us in a full face of makeup get.

And quite frankly, there is so much to love about our makeup free, naturally glowing skin that so many of us hide, simply because society would love to tell us that we're not beautiful, or pretty, or worth very much at all if we don't use [insert new trendy skincare product here].

Well, excuse my French, but I'm calling bull.

It's not okay for any of us to think of ourselves as less than, simply because we're not following those crazy and crappy societal trends. In a culture where "Instagram perfect" pictures are the ideal that every woman, or man, is expected to look up to, I'd say it's pretty revolutionary to dare to bare a fresh-faced look.

No one has to ever feel the need to compulsively put on makeup to be considered "beautiful."

Because, in all reality, makeup can't measure the kind of person you are.

Makeup/skincare products can't measure your kindness, your generosity, your bravery in the face of adversity, or any other kickass quality that you might have. Makeup can't do that; only what's inside of you, if brought out for the world to see, can do that. And yes, I'm well aware of how cliché and "junior high preachy" that sounds.

So, I hope this article will possibly spark some introspective thoughts on what beauty means to you. I hope you start to think about the fact that who you are as a person is not defined by how "attractive" or "beautiful" someone else might tell you you are.

You define who you are as a person, nobody else has that power.

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