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!