No lamenting over likes

Published 11 months ago -

Ten years ago, a friend was someone that you saw every day, while a follower was someone who legitimately stalked you in the real world. If you liked what someone was wearing, their hair or something that someone said, you would tell them. If you wanted to pick a fight with someone, face-to-face was the only scenario. Ten years ago, there were no Instagram models, no YouTube or Vine celebrities and no Twitter thresholds for memes. You didn’t have the liberty of telling 500, or even 100,000, people exactly what you were doing, and you certainly didn’t base your popularity off of how many people “liked” your posts.

We live in a new social trend today, where popularity is found in the Instagram explore page and people strive to earn a living off of their social lives. Our first-world seems to revolve solely around the lives of others with media fame and fortune. Let’s be honest, Instagram has shifted from a photo-blogging application to a hierarchy of social media kings and queens who’ve immersed themselves into sharing with the world their stories. Whoever has the most follows is the leading influencer, Selena Gomez surpassing at 128 million currently. Now, I’m not condemning anyone for participating on social media. If you enjoy blogging off of Instagram or sharing moments, then be my guest. I am an avid lover of Instagram myself, posting photography and travel destinations constantly. Social media can be a wonderful way to bring unity among people in many aspects. That’s not terrible in itself.

While it’s widened the spectrum of communication, social media has also become a notorious contributor to insecurity. I hear the horror stories everyday of people lamenting over how they didn’t reach said number of likes. Their anxiety rises ten-fold. They opt to delete the photo because it didn’t get enough likes and, therefore, it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t as fawned over as Kylie Jenner’s post or even their neighbors; therefore, they’ll never be as beautiful. It’s a frenzy that has swayed us millennials, the idea that our worth is based off of likes. Yet, should these likes be so integral to us? No.

It’s reality, people present a whole new persona of themselves on social media, a persona that they believe will gain more likes. These likes, to many, are a symbol of their worth. It is part of our human condition to feel the longing to be liked. We tend to feel that being liked gives us purpose, but we are far more remarkable than what others tell us. We are far greater than the number of hearts we receive.

You are not what your social media embodies you to be. We, as human beings, are vastly different from each other with distinct parts of our lives that make us who we are today. The amount of likes you receive doesn’t rate you, and it certainly shouldn’t change you. If we were all the same, like we attempt to be for the sake of receiving said likes on social media, then the world would be terribly bland.

If you’re a traveler, a blogger, a food-lover, an animal-lover or even a makeup enthusiast, post about it. It doesn’t matter who sees it, because it’s what you love to do and it makes you who you are. Share for the sake of loving who you are and wanting the world to understand that, not for others to like you. Share for the sake of reminiscing on the memories you made, not for who would care. The world is only going to remember what you did for a day, but you’re going to remember it for a lifetime.

Lauren Fitzgerald, a junior, studies English. She is a copy editor for Le Provocateur.

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