Is Instagram ruining female friendships?
The familiar envy-inducing selfie. Many of us can agree we’ve wasted many morning commutes erratically scrolling through images of our female peers with a sinking sense of depreciation.
A recent study by Now Sourcing and Frames Direct predicts the average millennial will spend about an hour a week taking Selfies.
What else could you do with that hour? You could watch an episode of Stranger Things. You could make a paella. You could have the most relaxing candlelight bubble bath of your life.
The Ugly Truth
Why do we look at these selfies? Aspiration. Motivation. #Goals.
What does this actually achieve? Comparison. Self-criticism. Envy.
Envy is an ugly thing. We don’t want to admit we feel inadequate or that we are doubtful of ourselves. Instead we feel envy that stirs up feelings of competition in all of us. She has something we want.
Competition is a defence mechanism for inadequacy. The truth is, we’d rather feel a sense of competition than admit she has something we want. And what does competition lead to? Individualism.
Now don’t get me wrong, individualism is good. However, there is a sort of individualism that produces a fear of social intimacy. The sad thing about this, is it immobilises us with insecurity.
Everyone’s measure and nature of success is different. More concerning still, the images that promote success online are doctored non-realities. As a result, we’re breeding inferiority amongst women.
The Ugly Cycle
Why do we upload these selfies? Recognition. Affirmation. Achievement.
What does this actually achieve? A search for an identity on other people’s terms.
This is a losing battle.
We are building digital avatars with a reward system based upon a validation from an audience. Instagram can actually set us apart more. It’s manufacturing a cycle of destructive individualism and competition between women.
We should be forming real connections and relationships. Instagram makes it very easy to become voyeuristic, inadequate and detached from reality.
Next time you come across someone who stirs up envy, remember:
She is an individual who is more than her image.
She has insecurities of her own, like you.
She has helped you understand more about what you might like to achieve in your own way.
And more importantly,
You will fulfil your own personal ambitions on your terms.
Stay awesome and support each other, Ladies.