Getting validation from other people has always been a strong motivator for our species. It matters at home, at school, and at work. We understand ourselves better in relation to other people, and when social media came along, things got intense really quickly.
Now I know exactly how many people care about that selfie vs. that inspirational quote, and I can feel invisible pressure to talk about #BLM or participate in a challenge. That pressure has always existed, it's just become more pronounced when we can count likes, follows, and comments.
We find purpose & meaning though making progress and exploring what we could be. It feels good when you made sacrifices and got that ideal body, that dream job, that dream partner. But why go through all that work and sacrifice, when you can just pretend? We can now manufacture a moment, instead of actually live with it, and can get immediately rewarded from everyone double tapping on what we shared.
Again this idea isn't new to social media. We posed for pictures back in the film days too, standing up straight, smiling and creating a moment that was never really there. Now "look where I'm at" "look what I'm doing" "look who I'm with" can be validated by everyone that wishes they were doing the same thing.
The downside is, even though we pretend, we forget that others are too, and consuming their manufactured moments, makes us aware of all the gaps we have in our life. Social media will constantly pump the idea to us that we're not enough. 5 minutes on social media and I'm wondering if I should invest in bitcoin, have kids, lose 5lbs, and find a photogenic soulmate.
What happens is we become the prisoners and the guards, trapped inside, and ensuring others stay trapped too. It's a cycle that sucks us of our energy, enthusiasm, passion, productivity and happiness.
Join me at HUMBLETHEPOET.com/CONNECT (link in bio) for options for us to connect outside social media, so you don't have to swim through the trash, just to enjoy a strand of my beard.