In 2018 having a Social Media presence seems just as necessary as it did in the 90s to have a landline telephone number (Yes, I am that old…).
There is so many wonderful things about the various Social Media platforms out there, mainly to be able to stay connected to friends and loved ones and the ability for creators and businesses to promote there brand. What isn’t great about it is the impact it can have on your self-worth if you are defining your life on likes.
A few months ago I overheard a conversation by two girls who would have been no older than 14 years old, they were sitting next to each other and essentially criticising each others Instagram accounts…..
“I got 160 likes on this photo.”
“You need to delete that, it doesn’t go with your theme.”
“I have more followers than you.”
“Whats the most likes you have on a photo? Mine is 250.”
“I’ve only had Instagram for 6 months and I already have nearly 500 followers.”
I would love to say that the above quotes were from my imagination, but unfortunately these were the words that came out of their mouths. When I was 14, I remember talking about who was Number 1 on the charts that week, or what posters came with the latest issue of Smash Hits. I can understand that growing up as a teenager in 2018 is vastly different to what it was like for me in the 90s and early 00s, having an Instagram account is just as normal to my days of having MSN.
What concerned me when I heard this conversation was that these girls might not actually understand the reality of Instagram. One thing I have tried to make a conscious effort of doing through The Found Camera is being honest with my audience and showing them I can see the funny and ridiculous side of it. When I post a photo, I haven’t just taken 1; I have chosen one out of 345 others. Some examples of my ever growing camera roll vs. the lucky chosen images are below.
It’s so important to understand that we have been unofficially educated to only share the positives in our life, the colourful and exciting moments, but it doesn’t and shouldn’t define you and you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to other peoples feeds. The person who has 250,000 followers could be really unhappy and lonely, and the person with 50 followers could be the happiest and really fulfilled with their life. It is not healthy to obsess over what everyone else is doing and whether or not you are doing better than them.
Likes on a photo shouldn’t have any impact on your happiness. Post photos because you love them and want to share them, start a blog because you enjoy writing, start a YouTube channel because you love creative media and videography. That alone should bring you enough happiness, that as your audience organically grows you know it is being liked for the correct reasons.