I Am Not Living For The Likes On Instagram

social media pressure
Photo by Kampus

Post pictures like these, and they’re all going to rave about you.

What a facade.

This pose. This dress. This look. This deep cleave. This short skirt. This location. This expression.

But what if I’m not here for all of that?

I will wear that pretty dress and go to that fancy location. But maybe I won’t be able to pose or smile like these girls do on Instagram. Maybe I will look lovely. Maybe I will get a picture clicked because my mom insisted. Or maybe you’ll see a candid photo of mine and call it HAWT—based on what you think is HAWT.

But dressing up, showing skin, and projecting a ‘diva’ image on social media is not what I am here for.

I won’t do it just to catch the attention of an ex, make someone insecure, or make another girl jealous. I won’t do it to appease people on my social media whom I don’t even know or do on a superficial level. And I won’t do it to show that I am living my best life, all dolled up.

No, I am not here for that.

Attention is extremely short-term. Respect lasts way, way longer.

I don’t have those flawless features or the time and energy to find the right filter to make myself look prettier.

And when I’m dead, what will people remember me for?

What kind of dress I wore to some random party, and how revealing it was? Or what color lipstick I wore when I sat in Starbucks on some Friday morning? How strangers left fire emojis every time I posted a picture?

Nope. I want to be remembered for the way I lived and let other people live. The work I did, and how well I did it. The dreams I had and realized. The thoughts I had, and the thoughts I shared with people.

How I understood them. How I loved them. And how I let myself be vulnerable with them and even stumbled on the way. How I connected with people and let them connect with me. How I got them. And they got me.

How I stood by people when they needed me. The way I didn’t lose myself and never pretended to be someone I wasn’t—just to fit in. The way I was independent and ambitious. The talents I had. And the way I made people feel about themselves.

Truth bomb: The very nature of social media today causes people to be fake. And most of us are guilty of it—me included, but rarely.

Your chronicles of a modern breakfast, fancy dinner, last night’s party, or feet dipped in the pool on that exotic vacation will all look great with the right filter and the perfect words to match. And so will you.

And then someone will compare your filtered face with their unfiltered, bare face. Someone will compare your exotic vacation with their visit to the beach nearby. And their head will be in a mess. But what they are seeing is an image of a life far better than the one you are authentically experiencing.

I’m not here to make another person feel that way because I’ve been there and felt what it feels like. But yes, if seeing someone live a perfect fake life on social media is affecting me, then maybe I have some deeper issues that I need to resolve. Issues of self-esteem, loneliness, and self-worth.

I can start with choosing to unfollow and unfriend the people whose social media updates make me feel bad about myself. And then, I can choose to address and heal my issues and start cultivating a life that I am proud to live.

That feeling does not have to be splashed on social media. I don’t have to live on social media for my real-world existence to count. But I can surely live a good life, at peace with myself and the world.

There are far greater things that I want to be remembered for and remembered by, not just what is appealing to the eye.

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