Do you remember the moment you realized the world didn’t revolve around you?
It’s usually at a pretty young age. (OKAY FINE I JUST BARELY REALIZED IT OKAY FINE)
it’s alright to admit that humans are selfish creatures. It’s in our nature.
When you’re born, there’s no orientation into life. Theres not a sit-down meeting, where you are explained what is about to happen. There’s no instructions on “being a human.” And even if there were, by the time you were at an age to understand such an introduction, you would have already lived for several years.
Therefore, you grow up in your own little world. Naturally, and subconsciously… selfish.
Almost like the Truman Show. You’re the main character and everyone else is just ‘participating’ in your life.
And then one day it hits you. Does everyone think this way?
You put it together that everyone has their own brains and their own inner voices, their own little worlds. You realize that to other people, they are their own main characters and to them, YOU are a background role. It sounds silly, but I think it’s a moment we all experience.
I remember being a kid and passing a random girl on the street, wondering who she was. Or what her favorite tv show was. Who was her mom? Where did she live? What was she thinking? I’d close my eyes really tight, trying to picture what it would feel like to be her. To see what she saw, to talk like her, to think how she thought. To see life through her point of view.
It was always too much for my little girl brain to understand, so I’d go back to mentally planning my wedding to Jesse McCartney.
As we get older, we become less selfish, and more empathetic. It’s easier to put ourselves in other’s shoes. We develop love for people, so much that when they hurt, we hurt. Our minds are more capable of understanding the perspectives and feelings of others.
But deep down, that childlike mentality that you are the main character, and everyone else is a participant, is always there.
Underneath it all… we’re still a little selfish.
And selfish people love validation.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
It’s 2018 and it’s easier than ever to not only fulfill our selfish desires, but to virtually imagine what it’s like to be the girl on the street you just passed. We know what her favorite TV show is. We know where she lives, who her family is, what she believes in… we know her. Right? Or at least we know the version of her that she wants us to.
On the other hand, we are all that girl. Someone out there wonders about you too. How you think, how you act. And by posting bits and pieces of your life online, you are creating an image for those wonderers.
So what do we do with all this information?
With social media, we are constantly being validated. And in return, we have the power to validate others. It’s that power, and that close comparison of other peoples validation, that convinces us that we need more. More likes. More followers. More presets. More comments. More vacations.
And let’s get something straight riiiiiight up front. This validation we crave, is well justified. Truthfully, I hate hearing about how “fake” the satisfaction we get from the internet is.
When someone comes up to me in person and tells me that my videos inspire them, or that they love my blog, or even that they like my shoes… It makes me happy! But if someone tells me I inspire them through an instagram comment or an email, I’m suddenly superficial for getting excited about internet validation. Why is the compliment all of the sudden not as real, or credible, if done through social media?
The truth is, It’s just as real, and its 10 times easier.
AND THATS WHY ITS SO ADDICTING! Because it’s so. easy. It’s instant.
And that is why we spend hours scrolling, and stalking. It’s why we buy whatever Kim Kardashian shoves in our face. It’s why we try certain diets, or travel to certain places. Our image needs to be fed. It needs to grow.
But there’s so many unsaid RULES these days to help that image “grow.”
- “You can’t post two selfies in a row
- “Don’t post twice in one day”
- “Your stories have to be under ___ minutes long or no one will watch”
- “You need to have a good ‘follow to following’ ratio”
- “Don’t wear the same outfit in separate posts”
- “Use the same presets on all of your photos”
- “Post between the hours of ___ and ___ for optimal engagement”
- “Tell your followers every time you post something new”
- “If your post doesn’t get x amount of likes in x amount of minutes, you have to delete”
- “Lip syncing snapchats are OUT” (I feel personally attacked by this one)
For a bunch of selfish people, we sure care a lot about what other people think.
And even if you’re not an “influencer” or in the business of becoming one… you still care.
If you have social media, at all… you care.
But what if I told you a secret?
What if I told you that no one else does?
Let me say it again for my haters who secretly read all of my blog posts.
NO ONE ELSE CARES.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s true babes.
And if there were by chance an orientation into life, if there was a sit down meeting with your parents at the hospital after you were born, where you watch a powerpoint about what it means to be a living human on planet earth… and If I had any control over this orientation powerpoint…
This would be the first slide:
“Hi! Welcome to Earth. Nobody cares as much as you think they do. Lets get started.”
The reality of it all is that while yes, we are capable of caring deeply for others, humans are selfish. Whether its subconscious or not, we look out for ourselves.
So how can this knowledge of “no one really cares” help us in this day and age?
JERRY, NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.
(jerry is my metaphorical assistant who controls the imaginary powerpoint. Everyone say hi to jerry)
I want you to think about your social media feed today. I don’t care which one, instagram, facebook, snapchat, twitter, seekingarrangements.com, whatever your drug of choice may be.
Try and remember 5 posts that stuck out to you today. 5 posts that caught your attention, enough that you can remember them hours later without having your phone in front of you. 5 tweets, instagram posts or snapchat stories that stuck with you.
Can you do it?
I barely could. To be honest it took me a loooong time.
Now on the flip side. Can you think of anything you posted today? If you did, I’m sure you remembered it right off the bat. Photo, caption, amount of likes, comments, everything.
I don’t know if everyone can relate to this, but I feel like as of late there’s so much pressure when you post something online. It’s like those “rules” we talked about earlier are screaming in your head. Think of it like a dua lipa song, but less sexy.
“Should I post this?” “Will it fit in with my feed?” “Will people think I’m full of myself?” “What if it gets no likes?” “What if people unfollow me?” If you end up pulling the trigger and posting, you’re constantly checking up on it to see the reaction & engagement. You crave to be validated.
But let’s put this into perspective.
When you scroll down instagram, do you sit and marvel at each post, enough to the point where you’ll go back to look hours later? Are you effected by your followers posts in the way that will leave you thinking about it until you go to sleep at night? Probably not. Right? Like maaaaybeee if it’s a new high quality picture of stormi jenner, but otherwise I’d be willing to bet that we all scroll in the same way. Blindly. It’s a habit. We care to see what everyone’s up to, it’s fun, its great. We’ll like a picture, but probably won’t dedicate more than 15 seconds to looking at it unless it’s to hype up your best friends latest selfie, or to fight with a troll in Chrissy Teigen’s comment section. My point is, I don’t think we spend the time caring about other people’s lives, like we think they care about ours.
While you’re checking back every 5 minutes to see if brad watched your instagram story, most people are just tapping through.
Say it with me Jerry,
NO ONE CARES AS MUCH AS WE THINK THEY DO.
And before my haters come for my neck, let me defend myself. OF COURSE I CARE ABOUT YOU. AND YOUR CUTE BABY YOU POST EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR. I CARE ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE CHILI RECIPE. AND YOUR BLUE APRON DISCOUNT CODE. AND YOUR NEW DOG. AND YOUR OUTFIT OF THE DAY. I WILL SHOWER YOU WITH LOVE AND AFFECTION FOREVER AND EVER!!!
I’m just saying we’re really hard on ourselves, seeking approval for our OWN posts when in reality, I don’t think anyone else is putting that much time and energy into it. In terms the trendy teenagers would understand,
it’s just not that deep, sis.
I was hanging out with some of my influencer friends a couple months ago, and Instagram seemed to be the main topic of conversation. These super cool, super hot people a lot of you guys probably follow, were SO caught up in how their posts were doing. I’m not even trying to call them out, because I’m definitely guilty as well. I’m just trying to bring attention to the fact that we ALL do it.
~~stars they’re just like us ~~
I remember one of my friends deleting their post because it didn’t reach a certain amount of likes in a certain amount of time. I just thought that was so crazy, because I thought the post was great. Now every time I see one of their posts, I imagine the other side of it. The stress and anxiety over the engagement, and the reaction.
So whats next?
We all do it to some degree.
Care a little too much about how we portray ourselves online. How do we overcome that?
I think it's simple. I think we just take the edge off of social media. Relieve some pressure.
Let’s take this knowledge that no one really cares as much as we think they do, and let’s redefine the rules.
STEP ASIDE MISS DUA!!!!
- Post two selfies in a row. Post THREE selfies in a row! Fun!
- Snapchat an entire concert, and have the confidence to not let if affect your day if half of your followers don’t watch it.
- Post a picture in the same outfit you wore the day before and realize that no one cares, and if they do, then THATS REALLY WEIRD THEY’RE REALLY WEIRD
- Tweet like it’s 2009 again and you’re just trying to get Justin Biebers attention.
- Post in your sexiest coachella outfit despite the reactions of your conservative followers who will brand you as an “attention seeker” (and then venmo them a couple dollars so they can go get themselves a drink because SAD)
- Post at 3 am. Post at 3 pm. Stop looking at the damn clock when you post sweetie!!!!
- Post ANOTHER picture of your cute baby and don’t you DARE start your caption with “sorry I only post about my baby”
- Post your discount codes and your ads, and then laugh your way to the BANK!
- Post a fire squad pic even if you don’t think it will “fit in with your feed” BELIEVE IN YOUR FEED!!!! Harvard studies show that most girls these days would rather choose an aesthetically pleasing instagram page over a three hour makeout with asap rocky, and together we can end this statistic.
In the end, if I could offer any advice on social media, it would be to stop caring so much. We’re in such an interesting time in history. We are the last generation who’s baby pictures weren’t on iPhones and we’re the first generation that will be able to look back on the majority of our lives via the things we’ve posted throughout it. Do you know how cool that would have been to see our mom’s instagram feed’s when they were in high school? OUR kids will get to experience that. I seriously cannot wait to have a teenage daughter and show her a video of me twerking in the middle of a circle at a Tyler The Creator concert.
I just think the more time we spend on creating and perfecting an online “image” the more we will regret it later on. In the moment, social media is just that. social. It's about what you're doing, what your friends are doing, who's following you and watching your stuff, connecting with new people.
But years later, whats left is just memories. Its no longer social, it’s history.
So remember that before you delete old photos because you’re embarrassed of the ‘edit.’ or whatever. Remember that before you hesitate to post a picture because you’re worried it won’t fit in with your 'aesthetic.' In 20 years or so, I’m sure you’d rather look back on your real life moments than your perfectly curated ones. So stop worrying about what Hailey thinks of your instagram feed and start thinking about what YOU’LL think about it, when you’re 45.
It goes back to what I was saying about being the main character. We think everyone is just as invested in our lives as we are, when in reality, they’re just thinking the same thing. It all comes back around to the funny and also beautiful reality that we are indeed the main characters of our own lives, and at the exact same time, supporting roles in everyone elses.
believe in your feed 2018