I don’t want to care about numbers anymore — I want to care about progress. Quite honestly, now that I look at my life, I feel as though without the numbers, I haven’t made much worth caring about.
When did a number come to define my worth among society? Since when did having the minimum number of 5,000 followers matter so much? I feel like I’m constantly staring at numbers, and they stare back like a reflection in the mirror, taunting my self-worth.
I have spent hours, if not accumulated days on social media, perfecting it to an art form so that my audience would be pleased. Though, who really is my audience? Isn’t it just another person, lazily scrolling through a plethora of 6×6 photos, all casting the same eager face of approval, double tapping subconsciously?
I look only long enough to catch the gist of what I am looking at, the millisecond it takes for my mind to process if it is appealing enough for a double tap. I don’t see the detail, unless it is compelling enough to lure me in, but here I am, giving out likes faster than I can take another breath, and people are doing the exact same back.
What am I doing, scrolling aimlessly through this vast convolution of other people’s made up lives? Praising such concepts and images which are just merely a second of one’s day? We don’t see what goes into getting that photo, we just see the end result — which to the unaided eye can easily be perceived as a spontaneous moment in time rather than what it really is, an edited fabrication of life.
We are overwhelmed in a world of created perfectionism, where we are all trying to reach an unattainable level, yet we don’t really realize the effort put in to create such an easy looking facade.
The woman laying in bed looking as though she just woke up is, without a doubt, two hours into a shoot after one hour in a hair and makeup chair.
It is not real, it is created. The girl smiling with an ice cream to her lips is no longer a moment captured between friends to create a memory, but a scheduled day, with a planned routine, and a shooting rate. What we see is no longer a moment in time, but a timed moment.
Everyone is trying to be someone, when really nobody can be anybody when everybody is trying to be somebody else. We fall into this fixation with getting the perfect picture, or recreating the same picture that someone else has already taken, because they got a lot of attention for it, so why can’t you?
We have forgone the creative aspect of things and have fallen into a recreation mentality, all trying to do it better than the last. Only rarely do I come across a photo where I say “wow,” because everything else is the same, and wow only has a wow effect once.
Now I really want you to think about this. Think about what you are doing, what you are staring at, and what you are holding in your hand right now. This is a device created to connect you to the world. You can access anything and everything at a gentle tap of a finger. You spend the time that could be spent doing anything else by moving your finger up and down a screen.
If something sparks in your mind, you like it… never to be seen again. What does that like do? It adds to a number. Never to be seen again.
We are so obsessed with this sense of approval that we are no longer going off of what makes us happy, but what we think other people will see as happiness.
We are obsessed with being what everyone else wants to be, yet we’re all just the same. None of us have it figured out — it just looks like we have it figured out, because there’s a filter for that. That person traveling the world still doesn’t have their life in line, but we see the moments where they’re in expensive hotels or luxurious cars, and we think ‘oh, they’ve got it together.’
It’s no longer the materialistic aspect of things that is crumbling, but the mentality behind the madness. We’re all trying to attain this sybaritic lifestyle which others are showcasing, when really we should just be focusing on bettering what we have right in front of us.
We’re all lonely, looking to grasp the lifestyle which we believe will bring us excitement… But it’s all in a 5×2 phone screen. It is a world within a black mirror, reflecting back on our expressionless faces, yearning to be what it depicts, when really it’s just a coded life.
Nobody is perfect, even if their theme is a crisp white with gold and black detailing. Their theme is perfect, not their life. So STOP trying to reach for it, and start creating an actual life beyond your phone.
Stop doing what everyone else is doing, put down your phone, and find inspiration from the beautiful world we have around us. Look at the ugly side of things as well, because too often those are overlooked, because we’re obsessed with only the alluring smoke and mirrors.
Start living for yourself, and not for the acceptance of others. You have so much more to offer.