Why Do We Let 'Likes' On Instagram Define Us?

Why Do We Let 'Likes' On Instagram Define Us?

It's the illusion.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Erik Lacatero

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25 Responses To Your Friend Who Doesn't Text Back

Omg thanks for responding so quickly...oh, wait.
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We all have that friend. That friend we love to death, but if we are sure of anything in this world, it’s that they will not respond to your text because they suck at texting. That moment when you see “Read 1:04 p.m.” and you’re like “and???? Helloooooooo!”

These are 25 responses for that dear friend.

1. Lol thanks for tagging me in that FB post, now text me tf back.


2. OMG, wait you met Chris Hemsworth and he’s professing his love to you??!! No? Okay, then you can def text me back.

3. Hey I’m coming to help you since you obviously broke your thumbs and can’t respond.

4. Lolol thanks for responding. I’ll just continue the conversation with myself. That’s cool.

5. Good chat.

6. Yeah I wouldn’t know how to respond either, pizza topping selection is a thought-provoking process. Take your time. Meditate on it.

7. The classic: ^^^^^^^^^


8. I hope you’re writing me the 8th Harry Potter novel.

9. That was a yes or no question. This isn’t difficult. You wouldn’t do well with ‘Sophie’s Choice.’

10. Omg, did you pass out from the excitement of getting a text from me? Totally understandable. Text me when you regain consciousness, love.

11. Omg what a witty and clever response. Nothing. So philosophical.

12. The only excuse I’ll accept is if you’re eating guac and don’t want to get it on your phone. Because avocados are life.

13. I love it when you do that adorable thing when you don’t text me back for hours. So cute.


14. Okay I’ll answer for you. Yes, you’re going out tonight. Glad we had this convo.

15. In the time it has taken you to respond, dinosaurs could have retaken the earth.

16. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

17. The dramatic but also very valid response: That’s what happens when you don’t respond for 30 minutes. People die.


18. I apologize for asking if you were coming to watch Bachelor, clearly the decision has caused you serious reflection on your priorities. I’m sorry to have caused you this existential crisis.

19. Sorry I annoyed you with my friendship. But like plz respond…

20. Your response time is longer than Ross and Rachel’s entire relationship. 10 seasons. You couldn’t text me back for 10 seasons?!!

21. Wait. You’re responding too fast. I can’t keep up. Hang on. Don’t respond so quickly. Jeez.

22. A subtle but perfectly placed gif. What will you go with? The classic eye roll perhaps or maybe a “you suck.”


23. Did you fall off a cliff? Wait, you don’t exercise. Pause your Netflix and respond b*tch.

24. Omg I WON THE LOTTERY. *responds* Lol now you respond…

25. And my personal favorite and go to, Did you text me and then decide to THROW YOUR PHONE ACROSS THE OCEAN?! Lol swim fast, I need an answer.

Cover Image Credit: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8289/7759302068_fac2dfd31d_b.jpg

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Taking Breaks From Technology Is One Of The Best Things You Can Do For Your Mental Health

It can be incredibly difficult to pull yourself away from your phone and laptop, but I cannot stress enough how important it is.

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Most of us can't go a few hours without checking our email, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media sites. We thrive off seeing what foods our friends are eating, what everyone is wearing or getting international news in a matter of seconds.

The internet can be an amazing thing. There's no doubt about that. However, it can also be extremely toxic.

Seeing the dark side of international politics or comparing your achievements to those of your high school friends can take extreme tolls on your mental health.

While it can be incredibly difficult to pull yourself away from your phone and laptop, I can not stress enough how important it is.

Let me pose this idea to you: turn off your phone, shut down your laptop and take a few hours (or even a day) for yourself. I'm not saying you should go full 1989 and leave your phone at home (safety first, right), but we all must ensure that we dedicate a part of our week to not using it.

Taking a long walk, going to the mall, baking or just going out with people you love can all be great detoxes. Often we become so preoccupied with looking at what others are doing and documenting what we are doing that we forget to enjoy life. Life gets so much better when we forget the world around us and just center ourselves.

Although being alone with our thoughts can be scary, it is the best thing we can do for our mental health.

Even if it's something as simple as turning off our phones and going out for drinks with our friends or going across town to get dinner from that one amazing place (without checking twitter while we wait). Any amount of disconnecting is essential to be happy.

Growing up as a millennial meant I got to see technology evolve from dial-up internet to 3D-Printing, so I know firsthand how hard it can be to pull yourself away from it. However, as I have grown older, I have come to learn just how important taking breaks from social media is. That's why we all need to do it at least once a week.

So I pose a challenge to you. The next day you don't have class or work, spend half the day with your phone on airplane mode. Then spend the day doing something you love. No social media, no answering emails. Just you, maybe your loved ones, and something that makes you happy.

There will always be time to reconnect with the media we all enjoy, but disconnecting is something we all need to work harder to do.

Cover Image Credit:

Pexels

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