Is the need for short-term validation taking over our society?
When’s the last time you checked your phone? I guarantee it was probably less than 10 minutes ago. I mean, I get it. What if you just got that Snapchat of your drunk friend from back in middle school watering a plant with wine at 3 am (yes, it has happened) or a new insta post from the guy who you talked to once but are convinced is your soulmate. I’ll be honest with you– at the moment, I am multitasking writing this and scrolling through Gigi Hadid’s feed for style inspiration. Don’t you feel the pressure to post a bikini pic like the one your cousin’s best friend’s neighbor did? Or brag about ditching homework to go clubbing on a Wednesday?
With our generation’s constant tendency to project an image to the world and achieve short-term popularity and validation through that coveted “like”, we are becoming more materialistic and superficial than ever before. Whether it be a spontaneous vacation to an exotic island getaway (which your parents were probably saving up for for a couple of years now), the current Instagram-worthy black goth ice-cream, Starbucks’ latest unicorn Frappuccino (honestly why?!), or simply an “effortlessly casual” pic of you studying for finals (and by “studying” I mean spending 40 minutes trying to position your laptop and notebook in an aesthetically pleasing way), we are constantly aiming to prove something to the world.
These days, social media has been praised as a form of self-expression and platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter provide hourly updates on the newest viral trends such as using an actual egg to blend your foundation (because simply eating one is simply boring and poses no potential for 200+likes) and spending $30 on an acai bowl and avocado salad that will fill you up for approximately 20 minutes until you have to run to the nearest fast food place and indulge in a family of four serving portion. And speaking of social media influence, we can’t forget to mention the Kardashian empire- shaping the way girls view their bodies one naked selfie at a time (thanks, Kim and Kylie). Their latest beauty-enhancing discoveries include the waist trainer (trip to the ER not pictured), gummy vitamins (have not been proven to actually work) and in-flight skin treatments (on our private jets of course).
In light of social media’s immense influence on adolescents and their perception of the world, it is becoming more and more crucial to present new content and think of new concepts that have not been exploited before. Privacy is no longer valued, we are at an age where the more we share the more we seem #relatable, basically- the more daring the better. YouTube is swarming with vloggers who earn fortunes by simply documenting their lives- from going to Target to run errands to laser-hair removal appointments. When does it end? Society is bound to realize that the perfect selfie angle and room lighting can only get you so far and in a world of alarmingly increasing suicide rates and homophobic hate, all enforced through social media platforms and apps. Because at the end of the day we are more than someone’s “liked” pic or retweeted meme. Right?
This article was written by Sara Gradinarska. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Well- The New York Times