I decided to do a little experiment. For two weeks, I promised myself I would not post anything on Instagram, would delete the Snapchat app from my phone but would stay active on Facebook.
I was getting addicted to Instagram and Snapchat. I knew it all along but whenever my husband or friends would tell me so, I would quickly defend myself by offering some lame explanation. But then I realised how much of my daily productivity was being affected. After much reflection, I was forced to ask myself “why do you post the things you do on social media?”
Why must I wake up every morning and feel obligated to post a picture of my coffee and then after a few hours proceed to update my story on what I’m doing? What’s the purpose? What am I hoping to gain out of sharing every detailed aspect of my life with people on social media?
In the past two weeks, I have clicked on the Instagram app for completely different reasons. Before, I would go on Instagram to update friends and strangers of the most flowery parts of my life. To figure out why people post things on social media, I had to first ask myself why I post the stuff I do.
As humans we seek validation. We live in an era where people are actively seeking some sort of validation through social media. When one posts a selfie, they want some sort of flattering comments or a certain amount of likes. I mean, why else would you post a picture of yourself? I know that subconsciously, I’ve been seeking validation on social media. In the race of getting more likes and comments, I’ve been posting more. I want people to like my pictures because it gives me a sense of satisfaction. I want people to acknowledge and appreciate my presence on social media by following me. And I think I am not alone in this. I know for a fact that so many people on social media seek if not this, then some other form or kind of validation.
I am not saying any of this is wrong but it is definitely not healthy. Refraining from posting anything on Instagram for two weeks has taught me to appreciate the good and the bad in my life because I no longer want to experience moments based on there acceptability on social media. I no longer make visits to the beach with the mindset that I’m going to Instagram what I do there. Neither do I pause before drinking my iced lattes because I must post it on Snapchat first. For a change, I do the things I do now because I genuinely want to. Because I am learning that I do not need to seek validation for the most meniscus things or for anything for that matter. I should not live a life in which I have to filter certain things just for the validation of others.
I urge others to do the same. If we could just ask ourselves why we are posting a specific picture or video on social media? Does it add any sort of value to mine or someone else’s life? Does it inspire, encourage or empower others? Or am I posting just to seek attention, to seek some sort of validation and if yes- then take a step back and sign off from social media. Only then will you realize that your life, however it may be, is the sort which you are destined to live and no one can offer you the kind of validation you seek but yourself.