Social Media and Self Actualization

I read here that Instagram is a resume for our lives. I like how that’s put and it’s so true! Instagram and Snapchat stories are how people show their “personal brand”- a term that’s become synonymous with our online personas. The idea of personal branding originated in 1937 from author Napoleon Hill and it was relegated to the realm of business and career. Some people use social media as a large part (or the main part) of their career but for most, we just use it for the sake of using it. So why is our personal brand so important to us if it’s not part of how we make money?

People do things because it gives them a psychological or physiological kickback. Eating sugary and fatty foods do this to us and so does using social media. And like bad food, social media has amplified a kickback that we already had inside us- the need for social inclusion, self esteem and self actualization.

Before social media and the internet, social inclusion was achieved through you know, actually socializing with people face to face. Conformity was a big part of social inclusion and it still is but I think one of the good things about social media is that you can see different people and recognize that “your people” are out there and you’re not alone. This has given many of us the strength to be different from what’s normal and I’m grateful for that. But in terms of self-actualization, I think social media has been a disaster for us.

When you look at social media as a resume for our lives, you might notice that there was no such thing before the internet. Today, people do things “for the ‘gram” and flex so hard even if it’s fake. Women buy red bottoms but they can barely make rent. Girls don’t say “keys to the Benz” anymore, when they meet someone with a nice car they sit on the hood and say “But first… lemme take a #Selfie.” And it’s not just females, guys post with cars they don’t own too and flex just as hard. Everyone can use Facetune to make themselves look thinner, phatter, or create perfect skin.

The only resume of our lives before the internet was our actual life, not our online personas. Sure people took pictures back then too but that was when having a camera meant buying a disposable plastic one and taking the physical film roll to Walmart or the drugstore to have it developed. And people didn’t take 50 pictures before getting the “perfect” shot because that film roll was finite and getting more film and developing an extra roll meant spending more money. Plus you couldn’t see how the picture looked until it was developed anyway. The developed photos got put into photo albums that were shared almost exclusively with only people who you were close enough with to invite into your home.

Image result for disposable camera

Before the internet, the only way to look richer, thinner, phatter, prettier than you actually were was to truly become those things. People will always choose what’s convenient over what’s better for the long term. This goes for both food and self actualization and self esteem. It’s a lot easier to fake a phat ass than it is to go to gym and do your hip thrusts. It’s a lot easier to pretend to be happy and have a glamorous life than it is to really be at peace with yourself and build your self esteem so that it is independent from other’s opinions. Social media has cheated us out of our need and our motivation to become what we want to become and to be independently happy. That’s not something I’m grateful for at all.

I’ve sort of replaced social media with blogging so I’m not sure if blogging counts as a time waster for me. It’s not like I’m making any money off of it and next to no one even sees my blog, let alone reads my posts, and blogging isn’t going to help me move out of my parents house. I like writing these posts though.

I like to think of my blog as a sort of “profile.” It’s like my little home on the Internet. Maybe one day I’ll start giving out my url instead of my Snapchat. I’m not sure if I like the idea of acquaintances reading this though. This is my little digital home after all. It’s kinda stupid to give someone you just met your physical address, so why give them my virtual address? But on second thought, I do have a private journal that no one (hopefully no one) will ever read. So I suppose someone reading this blog is not so bad.


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