Who posts the most?
By Kendall Tich
What we pretend we did this summer: Travel to every place on Pinterest, hang out with every person we posted “let’s get coffee sometime” to on Facebook, had as much fun as we said we did on Twitter, gotten into every club we posted a picture of on Instagram and partied as much as we said we did on Snapchat.
What we really did this summer: pinned about the places we want to go, forgot about posting on peoples’ walls to hang out with them, tweeted everything we dreamed of doing this summer, Instagrammed the first five minutes of a night before we couldn’t get into the 21+ club and Snapchatted about how crazy a party was when we were really just sitting at our kitchen table playing board games with our families. But who will ever know what we really did?
The pictures and posts tell an entirely different story. Even though we think we post them because our eyes looked pretty next to the sunset or our hair looked good in that lighting, it is really because social media has made us so competitive with each other that we need to exaggerate and misrepresent the truth to compete with the seemingly awesome pictures all our friends post.
It is true that a picture can speak a thousand words, but pictures are only a tiny snapshot of a greater story. Maybe you were having a miserable time, but as soon as you got into that picture, knowing it would be uploaded to Facebook 30 seconds later, you faked a smile and put your hand on your hip so at least everyone who sees it thinks you are having fun.
Social media has completely changed the way we think about other people, feel about ourselves and present ourselves to the rest of the world. It has opened the door to a revolutionary universe, but at what cost? It is often those same posts that end up controlling and influencing how others feel about you and how you feel about yourself, especially among the younger generations.
It is no longer uncommon to hear about people crying over a post they saw on Facebook or yelling at a friend to take down the photo of them that they Instagrammed. With the introduction of all different kinds of social media, people have started to exert a lot of their energy comparing themselves to others. Social media has caused constant competition among the world’s youth and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
Don’t get me wrong, I love when the number of likes on my Instagrams switches from appearing as names to appearing as numbers but how does the number of likes say anything about me as a person? So what if you post a photo of yourself gazing at a sunset — yes, I am sure those would both be very neat experiences but does looking at the sun make you better than everyone else? Is a picture of the side of your face staring at something that could make you blind if you look for too long really say anything about you besides the fact that you maybe need some sunglasses?
There is such an emphasis on the number of likes, the number of comments and the amount of pictures you are tagged in that people begin to overlook the reasons why things are posted in the first place. The likes you get on your Instagram may be because you have a lot of friends but it could also be that you just posted a cool picture. Your followers aren’t always your friends and unfortunately, that’s something that people have started to confuse.
There is no doubt that social media has changed the way people interact and feel about others. Whether or not those changes are inherently good or bad is still to be decided.
If used properly, social media and all of its functions can progress and advance society in a way that 10 years ago, we never would have even imagined. Unfortunately, right now there is such a drive to appear a certain way that people pay more attention to comparing themselves to others and competing with other peoples’ posts instead of using social media for its positive intentions — maintaining old friendships, showing people glimpses of your life and interacting with others on the largest networks of communication in the world.