Why Do We Care So Much About Instagram?

Why Do We Care So Much About Instagram?

Why do we care about any social media platforms, for that matter?
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About a week ago, my roommate and I were laying on our beds, scrolling through pictures from a hike we had previously gone on. We were discussing which ones we wanted to post on Instagram, and what time would be the “optimal Insta time.”

After a couple of minutes of this, we both realized how dumb the conversation was. Why did it matter what time we posted our pictures? Who cares if you post two pictures in one day (#2pics1day, am I right?) What really makes a picture “Insta-worthy?”

This got our conversation rolling as we discussed the idea that the majority of our generation lives by certain “Instagram rules.” These rules consist of things like not posting more than one picture a day (unless you do something incredibly cool, of course, and if you do, you can’t post that second picture without someone remarking on the fact that you posted two pictures in one day) and not “liking” someone’s picture or not “following” someone basically means that you don’t like that person or you are currently mad at them. These rules aren’t written out anywhere, and yet, we all seem to live by them. And that’s an issue.

Countless times, I have overheard people saying, “I’m annoyed with her so I’m not going to like her Instagram picture.” Sure, you don’t have to like every picture, and you can be selective with your likes, whether you are conscious of that or not, but when you purposefully go out of your way to not like someone’s picture to “make a point,” that’s when problems arise.

Since when did we start using social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to be passive-aggressive? Instead of discussing any issues we have with one another, we place all of the energy on not liking that Instagram picture, that tweet, or that profile picture. And, really, what kind of benefit does that have?

Hint: There is no benefit.

Why do we care so much about our social media profiles? Why do we spend so much time coming up with the perfect line for our biographies (especially when it always ends up consisting of your college, your graduation year, and your sorority anyway.) Why do we agonize over which pictures are good enough for Instagram, or wait until it's prime time Insta-time to post our pictures? Why do we use filters and send screenshots of “Instagram options” to our group chats before posting anything? Why do we spend more time writing the captions than actually taking the pictures?

And I know why, but I really wish it wasn’t the truth. We do all of this to maximize likes, to maximize our online presence and following. Each like we get is a confidence booster, and every time our follower counts go up we silently applaud ourselves because we “must be doing something right.”

We live in an era where social media is our world, and that is both good and bad. In no way do I think that everyone uses social media this way, but I do believe that a very large amount of people do view their social media profiles as a very important part of their lives, and a very important part of who they are as people. Believe it or not, you are more than a string of tweets and pictures.

In regards to the controversy from quite a few months ago about whether or not social media is real life, I think that social media is real life and at the same time it isn’t. I think that social media is what each individual user makes it. Yes, your life may be full of beautiful smoothie bowls, flawless skin, perfect outfits, and parties, but at the same time, your life could also be full of binge-eating pizza, blemishes, sweatpants, and actually having a horrible time at that frat party you posted a picture at.

We selectively choose what to reveal on social media, choosing what is going to depict our most perfect lives. Which is fine, but the problem really arises when we begin to invest so much of our lives into our online profiles and presence, and start to lose our real world presence. Don’t make every event you go to about getting a picture for Instagram. Don’t let social media rule your life. Don’t make social media feel like a job, when it’s not. Don’t feel as if you have to live by these unspoken Instagram rules.

And lastly, don’t take so many pictures that at the end of the day you lose sight of what was really going on around you outside of the picture frame.

Cover Image Credit: Mediamister.com

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10 Shows Netflix Should Have Acquired INSTEAD of Re-newing 'Friends' For $100 Million

Could $100 Million BE anymore of an overspend?

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Netflix broke everyone's heart and then stitched them back together within a matter of 12 hours the other day.

How does one do that you may wonder. Well they start by announcing that as of January 1st, 2019 'Friends' will no longer be available to stream. This then caused an uproar from the ones who watch 'Friends' at least once a day, myself including. Because of this giant up roar, with some threats to leave Netflix all together, they announced that 'Friends' will still be available for all of 2019. So after they renewed our hope in life, they released that it cost them $100 million.

$100 million is a lot of money, money that could be spent on variety of different shows.

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How Can We Be More Clutch?

Look back on past events in your life where you were resilient, where you did succeed in high pressure and high stakes situations. What did you do then? What can you learn from it now?

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Each of us, deep in our souls, has the gift of clutch. Look no further than the last time you had a paper due in less than an hour with more than two pages to write, and you were able to finish the paper (surely with phenomenal outcomes). That's what you were in that moment: clutch. Clutch as an adjective is defined as being "dependable in critical situations."

Jeff Wise, the author of Extreme Fear , a book about performance in moments of high pressure and danger, said that "there's no question that when pressure is intense, skilled performance are able to tap abilities that are otherwise kept in reserve." I'm sure myself and many of my peers, with final exams and papers on the near horizon, would like to tap into our deep-seated reserves of clutch to lift our grades.

Some believe that the idea of being clutch is a myth, that it is just a statistical anomaly that perhaps we notice it more when people succeed seemingly impossibly in high-pressure situations. According to Wise, to some extent, clutch is a myth - but it is only a myth for those that are not experts in their fields. Professional athletes are the best of the best in their respective sports, and in that context, clutch is not a myth. The truth behind clutch performances is that those we see as "clutch performers" have " a rich store of past experience, organized into a deep intuitive understanding.'

In Dr. Mark Otten's sports psychology lab, the researchers concluded that we can all be clutch, "provided [we're] in the right mental state." Those in high-pressure situations need to feel like they're in control, as those who felt like they were in control were the most likely to succeed under pressure. Obviously, confidence also helps. So those who feel confident and in control are the most likely to succeed in clutch situations.

I do not, however, find the psychological explanations of clutch performance satisfying. To me, clutch performance is not just a psychological phenomenon, but an art, and to me, an art is something that can never be adequately explained, but instead interpreted. There is no one-size-fit-all explanation, and so I will interpret the two most clutch plays in my favorite professional sport, the NBA. Both these plays took place in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.

The two plays are as follows: Lebron James's game-saving block on Andre Iguodala's open layup out of nowhere, and Kyrie Irving's game-winning three pointer.

One thing is clear: the last two minutes of the game were absolute chaos. By this point in the series, both teams had been worn out and absolutely exhausted. The plays were nothing short of miraculous, as Lebron James was located at half-court while Iguodala was at the free throw line, and Irving's shot was heavily contested. When the stakes were highest, the two players succeeded and thrived. While neither team had scored in more than five minutes, the two players pulled through and won a championship for their team, on the road.

Clutch, for the, constituted not cracking under pressure, but thriving under it. The two of them have faces of laser focus indicating their confidence and sense of control in their situations. That is clutch. The game comes naturally to them, and it seems like they stop thinking as hard and just let it come. The two players slow down, and don't freak out. However, I don't know what is actually going on. in their heads. I am merely speculating, and I will never know unless I'm able to sit down and talk to Kyrie and LeBron one day.

I want to take a lesson from LeBron and Kyrie, too, and learn how I can become more clutch in a phase of high-pressure exams and papers. I want to be more clutch in job interviews, in times I'm usually afflicted with overwhelming anxiety, or in social situations that are incredibly awkward.

So to be clutch in our own lives, the formula in high-pressure seems to be this: feel more confident and in control. Slow down and let things come naturally. I have been able to reach these phases using a mantra that taught me to allow life to come naturally: "no surge." I am not saying the formula or even the mantra works for everyone, but it is a mantra that has worked for me given its emotional and historical significance in my life.

Approaching finals, deadlines at work, or difficult life events, find what works for you. Find out how to be clutch your own way, which is much easier said than done, but I don't need to be telling you how to do things you know best yourself. Look back on past events in your life where you were resilient, where you did succeed in high pressure and high stakes situations. What did you do then? What can you learn from it now?

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