Self love in the age of social media validation

Over the past year and a half, I've taken somewhat of a hiatus from social media. Don't get me wrong, I've still been having a good 'ol scroll, but I just haven't been sharing my life online. Coming from a gal who would average 7 tweets per day, this was big stuff. Honestly, my break from social media was nothing other than refreshing. So, my first post back on instagram came after almost 2 years, whilst sitting in Dublin airport wanting to share some snaps of an amazing trip to Ireland. With my fingering hovering above 'share', I felt strangely nervous. After such a long absence, what if my pictures didn't get any likes? How would I deal with the social humiliation?

I read a great tweet written by Kanye West last year that said "we should be able to participate in social media without having to show how many followers or likes we have" as it can have an "intense negative impact on our self worth". A M E N to this. Why should our followers or amount of likes correlate to our self worth?

In an age where social media is rapidly evolving, and with it, the rise of instagram influencers whose job is based around engagement on their posts, it's difficult to not care about the number of likes or comments a picture receives.

Whenever I go out with my friends, it has become the norm for us to whip out our phones to get that perfect a snap of our cocktails. I think the question we should ask ourselves is why we do this? We wouldn't show the worst parts of our lives online but we show the best. Is this because we have the thought process that likes, and engagement on our lives equal self validation? If you're not posting on social media, will people think your life isn't great?

I love social media and I think that it has scope for a lot of positivity. In my break from posting on instagram I came across many amazing accounts that focus solely on self love, feeling validated and worthy without changing who you are.

Has instagram simply become a tool for curating that 'perfect shot', and become less representative of real life? A lovely blogger, Scarlett London, came under fire a while ago for posting an image of her idea of a perfect morning. The image featured an empty cup of tea and Scarlett sat in her bedroom surrounded by balloons. The photo created controversy as many felt that it portrayed a life that was out of reach and clearly fake. I think it's important to consider why Scarlett received the backlash that she did. Do people really care that much about a random girl on the internet and what she chooses to post? I think the answer quite clearly has to be a yes.

Self love in the age of social media validation is something that I definitely find difficult to achieve. Instagram influencers portray a perfect life, but you have to remember that it's their job. Posting perfect pics is how they put food on the table. The point that I'm trying to get across, albeit, rather longwindedly, is that social media is not representative of real life. You would never think of posting anything other than your highlight reel online, and so if people want to portray themselves as having a perfect life then it's important to remember that it's highly likely that their life isn't as great as their insta feed makes out. It's so important to take social media with a pinch of salt. Do likes, comments and shares really matter in the long run? What matters most is how you view yourself.

Over the next couple of months, my blog is going to go down a bit of a different path, whereby thought pieces are going to become more prevalent, so I really hope you stick around for the evolution.

xo Nicole



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