May 17, 2018
As a millennial living in the 21st century, social media has a huge impact on my day. I feel pressured to take pictures in cool locations, doing cool things, with cool clothes and cool people. The success of my day boils down to how many people ‘like’ what I’m doing on my Instagram page.
Just recently I’ve noticed that during time with my friends we inevitably end up thinking and planning where we can get cute pictures for Instagram. While eating together we face windows in order to get better lighting, when we go on a hike we end up posing so as to get that perfectly ‘natural’ pose, all for a couple likes on Instagram.
A big part of the problem is that the amount of likes you get is public information on Instagram. This creates pressure to get more likes because everyone can see how many people like your post, meaning that popularity has become measurable. When our parents grew up, popularity was a vague concept measured only by how many people knew who you were, but because of social media, popularity can now be expressly measured based how how many followers and likes you get. As a result people are beginning to associate popularity on social media with their worthiness as people.
I miss the days from before my Instagram account. I want to be able to go places with people and experience it for myself instead of having to plan how to share my experience with other people. In my opinion, I should have the option of whether or not the number of ‘likes’ I get should be public information.
I don’t have a problem with people liking my post to show that they appreciate or agree with me- what I have a problem with is making popularity a public numbers game.