We snap a picture, pick a filter, post the picture and wait for the likes to roll in. When we get that first notification, it feels like Christmas. We live in an era where if a person you have a crush on likes your Instagram post, Facebook post, basically any post, that means they like you. If a stranger or friend likes your posts, that means your existence is acknowledged and you're overcome with this feeling of validity. Some may say they feel more wanted and that they feel like they're popular, in a way.
What happens when not enough people like our posts? Do we explode? Disappear into thin air? Get sent to social media jail? No, nothing happens. We just feel inadequate. When a stranger, friend, acquaintance, or crush doesn't like our pictures, we don't feel like we're enough and we feel stupid for even posting something anyway as if we've disturbed the social media Gods with our presence.
We start to compare ourselves to our friends who have hundreds of likes. "Why can't I be more like them?" Likes, nowadays, equals validation and it's sad that it is starting to become that. Ever since I watched that episode of "Black Mirror" episode called "Nosedive," it really struck a chord with me of how obsessed we have become and how our society can become like this in the very near future.
If you're not familiar with the episode, basically the technology they have determines how accepted you are into society and what social class you are a part of. The better your posts, the more stars you receive, and the better your life will be.
It is the illusion of likes, the illusion that our life is better when people are liking our posts and that we become a better person because of it. We develop an identity upon being accepted.
We are all guilty of this in some way, shape or form, but let's try to deviate away from this way of thinking. We are still human. We are still ourselves no matter the number of likes we get. Likes do not define us. Social media does not define us. YOU define yourself.