Social media has become almost natural – a given for our generation to take part in. Instead of coming home and watching the news, we scroll through our Twitter and Facebook feeds. Instead of looking in a cookbook for recipes, we search on Pinterest. This is in part due to our reliance on mobile phones – mobile users spent an average of 88 minutes consuming media on their phone whilst desktop users spent a average of 144 minutes. Today, desktop users spend an average of 122 minutes whilst the average mobile users consumes media on their phone 203 minutes per a day. Social media is so effortless, yet so powerful and we hardly recognize how much it’s changed our lives.
Take a look at Instagram – the social media platform that allows you to share a moment of your life in one, simplistic photo, using instagram hashtags so they can be seen by everyone.
What Makes It So Special?
Pictures captivate people. They’re compelling, pretty and as they say “a picture can speak a thousand words.” We get together and want to capture memories with our family and friends, share that with others and look back on the times we spent together. Instagram makes that easy. As wonderful as it can be, there are definitely a few downsides, especially from a young woman’s perspective.
Express, Don’t Compare
The amount of unbelievably attractive women on Instagram is actually alarming. It can be damaging for a girl to scroll through her feed and pick out the attributes somebody has that she doesn’t. Trust me, I’m definitely guilty. Whether it’s their body, their clothes, or their flawless skin, I’ve found myself wanting what I don’t have.
I need to steer away from this. And we all should. Use the platform as a way to express yourself and connect with those you know. Show the world what makes you beautiful, what you love and empower your followers. Try to avoid posting a picture and focusing on the amount of “likes” you get – but rather just sharing who you are and an exciting, special moment in your life. It’s not like you’re using the platform as a business might that may be interested in buying IG likes as an exercise in marketing.
It’s easy to get consumed by social trends and keeping up with people’s lives through social media platforms. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – you probably heard about Self Love Beauty through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. However, I’d recommend limiting yourself to a certain amount of time on “The Gram” each day. If it’s just to send a simple instagram dm to a friend (or try you’re luck at messaging a celebrity), or watch someone’s Insta story, that’s fine. But spending hours and hours on social media is not good for anyone. Limiting the time spend online allows you to focus on yourself a little more and others’ lives a little less.
Recognize the Truth
Like any form of social media, there’s more than meets the eye. You can’t believe everything you see. Images are altered. It probably took 500+ tries for a model to take that “perfect” photo and perhaps his or her life isn’t as amazing as it seems. Express your inner beauty and don’t feel pressured to live up to society’s idea of perfection. The truth is you have qualities that deserve to be admired, too.
So What Am I Trying To Say?
Follow people that inspire you and keep your feed one that will cultivate positive, empowering thoughts. Make your Instagram addiction a healthy one. If you come across a picture that makes you feel bad about yourself, keep in mind that you are a unique, beautiful addition to this world. Avoid anything that makes you feel otherwise.
Post photos that show your true self and what’s important to you. If you’re feeling yourself in a photo and want to share that with your friends, you post it dear. But remember, your appearance is not everything. You are more than how many likes you get. You are more than the amount of followers you have. You radiate a beauty from within – and that will always remain.