The Cause and Effect of Social Media and Our Self-Worth
How social media destroys our individuality and entraps us into conformity
In this day and age, the world seems to be in a constant Mercury Retrograde mind-spasm. The endless anxiety, the incomparable comparisons to other people’s lives around us and the ever-lasting new norm of needing the acceptance of every stranger has been bestowed upon us leaving many feeling isolated and with growing sadness. In a world so big, why does it somehow feel we sometimes walk it alone? Every morning, many of us are faced with having to look in the mirror and either not like what we see, or maybe be convinced that it is not enough for what society is expecting of us. This phenomenon may be a direct result of the unrelenting expectation to be perfect.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Social media. That phrase in itself is probably one of the most readily identified throughout the entire world. Everything has gone online, from business to dating to how we connect, or rather disconnect, from the world around us. It has become the norm to self-identify our worth based on how similar we can become to the images we see online. Kardashians wearing a new makeup line, well shit, better go to the beauty store first thing so you don’t get left behind! What a sad reality we all unwilling stumbled into and exist within. If everyone is doing it, then we are faced with the sense of “do I do what everyone else is doing to fit it and be unhappy, or do I do whatever the hell I want but find the strength to withstand the ridicule for being 'different'?”
What happened to individuality?
Why have we become so afraid of being who it is we truly are meant to be? We are all faced with the choice to choose exactly who we want to be and what life we want to live… so why do we bother conforming when it just leads to a feeling of inadequacy and lack of authenticity? The sadness accrues, and we would rather fake the smile then let anyone know that there may be a struggle underneath. We tend to hide our true emotions from those closest to us in fear of rejection, judgment, and overall disappointment of those we feel depend on us to behave and live a certain way. That seems to be the biggest struggle, asking for help, letting people in to the real you. Social media has created an impossible feat to feel never good enough, not even for oneself, because there is always someone who appears to have more, bigger, better.
The sad truth is that even when we volunteer, we feel the need to express how “noble” we are by sharing it with the world. So, in the moment of selflessness, it actually becomes selfishness. The point of giving is to give, and receiving notoriety becomes the “take”. The back-assward social media rules have taken away our uniqueness by posing us against one another. Our distinctiveness has now mirrored with undistinguishable and our self-worth now relies on whether or not we get the attention and “thumbs up” from anyone on our page. We rely our entire self-esteems on whether or not we gain the validation from others, which propels us into further reliance on others and their opinions to feel complete and accepted. Self-confidence will continue to dissipate, and sadness continue to generate as long as we partake in these unhealthy practices.
Men May Struggle More
Men seem to struggle more with expressing their true selves and sadness more than their counterparts. Men find it easier to withhold their true emotions from their inner circles and hide even more behind the face of the social media mask. This may be because of the basic gendering that men experience through youth that instructs they maintain the soldier’s face with a lack of all emotion. Emotion = feminine in many cultures and promotes emotional restriction for men and their true feelings. Men would seemingly rather swallow the sadness and the authentic responses to the world around them then risk being viewed as “less of a man” or perhaps a “pussy”.
How to Break Free
There is hope. It is crucial to realize that we all have a choice. No one can live our life for us, and honestly, who really gives a shit if you are wearing the newest Louboutin’s or have the hottest chick in your new ride. In the end, who you are, your morals, values and how you treat others is the only true measurable qualities that you can be judged with. It is time to stop hiding from our truth, rise above and become awakened. Suffering in silence should be a thing of the past. No longer should it matter how others view you, but how you view yourself. If you know you are killing it, then keep doing your thing, regardless of the riff-raff you may come across. Take away all the money, Instagram fans and the endless need to be externally validated, because everyone’s grave, in the end, will be the exact same size. Remember that.