Have you scrolled through your Instagram feed yet today? Most likely. What about liking a majority of those photos? Probably. Even the modern prophet Yo Gotti raps, “I love the ‘Gram, I love the ‘Gram, I’m addicted to it, I know I am.”
So often in this saturated society drowning with the comparison of others, we insult our self-confidence without even realizing it. You’ve been here before and I know you have because I have, too. Conveniently scrolling through Instagram, you stop on your friend’s recent post and think, “Damn, I wish I had Liz’s curly hair,” or even, “Crap, if only I could achieve Tim’s abs.” Now multiply this by hundreds of posts on a daily basis.
All of these seconds add up. And people wonder why our generation is considered insecure.
Back to Liz and Tim. For the sake of this point, let’s say Liz does have stunning curls and Tim has been making progress in the gym. These are two positive things. Danger comes when we compare and even let that comparison creep over to jealousy. Without even realizing it, we batter our own self-image and self-confidence by measuring it up against someone else’s best.
Your brain is continually being shown what you should look like, how you should dress, what you should wear or what you should eat, etc. Because, well, look, others are doing it too! Is this logical? Absolutely not. It’s like the saying I won’t soon forget from my second grade teacher, Mrs. Woods, echoing still: “Would you jump into a river because Shawn (my best friend at the time) dove in?”
Mrs. Woods, I’d still be damned if Shawn was going into that river alone, but upon some maturation, I admit that you were right. Just because those we follow on the ‘gram appear “better” or “different” from our individual path and lifestyle, doesn’t mean yours is lacking in any sense of the word.
The problem with Instagram is that it doesn’t align with life. Life is messy and unpredictable. On top of this, we are ALL imperfect. See, Instagram doesn’t function that way. Instagram is only concerned with your best, so don’t worry about your weaknesses—no one has to see them.
The little red hearts are contagious as they fuel the insatiable quest for more self-worth, validation, and societal acceptance.
Screw that. There is one person above all else who deserves your “like” and that’s the person you see when you stand in front of a mirror. Love yourself beyond measure and without boundaries.
Accept your faults and work on them tirelessly, strengthening your weaknesses until they are strengths, all while being self-aware of who you are today and what you want in your tomorrow.
Yes, it’s much easier said (or typed in this case) than done. You’ve heard this before.
But really, the more you focus on self-love and self-acceptance, the more you become self-aware and appreciate yourself. You will then begin to appreciate others genuinely instead of comparatively. This helps you lose touch with the negative feelings you once held.
In no way shape or form is this a lament against Instagram, in fact, I think it’s an incredible platform to share a plethora of ideas, from baking recipes to beautiful pictures of kittens (and everything in between). It is rather a call to you to refresh your thinking instead of your feed and the way you see yourself today.
Instead of uploading a new picture, upload a different perspective about yourself. If there’s one thing that’s not going down in the DM, it should be your self-confidence.