I worked New Years Eve. At the hours I stood at my CVS register, I aimlessly scrolled through images of sequin dresses, gold Mylar balloons, and perfectly timed kisses. I did nothing but absentmindedly sigh at my blue uniform top and remind myself in my head what this time and a half pay check will do for my social calendar back at school.
The next morning, I missed all Mimosa filled brunches, talk of “loosing weight” resolutions, and awkward bed side conversations, as I went back to work to ring up the Advil and Pedialite-needed customers that so importantly needed their hangovers cured. As I went back on the social media app and continued to scroll through, I realized that these posts meant nothing. The amount of likes on a picture did not, and does not, matter. It didn’t matter that I missed out on Instagram opportunities to show the world how much fun my friends and I could have or get approval of how I look in a new dress. Why?
Because there is so much more to life than Instagram.
As a millennial, my generation places so much emphasis onto the social media app. It has become an overall lifestyle, with the need to snap a picture of the moment you are in instead of enjoying it.
At concerts, our parents enjoyed Bruce Springsteen and Madonna by listening to the music and living in the moment. Instead, our generation has their phones out to take pictures and videos. We are living the moment through shattered glass and dirty screens.
From there, a post goes up on Instagram, geo-tagged in at the concert venue, letting all of the world know that you are here. This is what you’re doing. That you’re cooler than them. That you’re doing something they aren’t.
Going to a concert is just an easy example to list. Anytime you are out and about – eating at a trendy restaurant, on a vacation, doing something that someone else is not. You want to show the world what we are doing, instead of enjoying it and living in the moment.
And by no means am I saying that I’m not guilty of doing this, readers. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I post whenever I go out, tons of posts dedicated to my best friends and sorority fam, and pictures of my internship. It comes out of habit now for us 90’s babies to post what we are doing, if and only if it is deemed “insta-worthy.”
But the part that really breaks my heart is the way that we put such an emphasis on the amount of likes we receive. We aren’t a Kardashian/Jenner, who make our net (and self) worth through filtered pictures online. But if you’re Khloe reading this, shoot me an e-mail… I would love to connect!
You don’t need the validation from your high school soccer teammates, the cute boy who sits across from you in sociology, or your little’s biological sister. You don’t need validation from anyone. You are beautiful – inside and out. Their opinion, and if your picture is worthy of a double tap from them, doesn’t determine who you are and if you are worth it. You are worth it.
Repeat after me – you. are. worth. it.
You aren’t the 97 likes on your selfie. You are the A that you just got on your thesis paper that you spent weeks in the library in. You are the smile that you received when you were donating food at a homeless shelter. You are the “I love you” from your mom.
As we continue to delve deeper into 2016, remember this. It’s a realization I am accepting more and more: Life is more than just Instagram. Enjoy the moment. Eat your food. Take in the concert. View your surroundings. Laugh with the people you are with. And more importantly, remember one like or one thousand likes on a picture doesn’t determine your self-worth.