Life without Likes
Simplicity, serenity, sincerity. These were the values that our society encouraged before technology. As much as I love Facebook and Instagram, I often wonder how communication would be different if they did not exist. There are many opportunities created by the Internet (blogging, for instance), and I am grateful for these virtual connections that I can make with other interested people. Today, I am nostalgic for the days before where letters were the primary form of communication, books were the primary form of research, and people were the primary form of priority.
So much of our self-esteem and self-worth comes from how many likes we get on our profile pictures, how many people double-tap on our Instagram, and how many people favorite our Tweets. External validation is around every corner. We are upset when we compare our social media presence to other people's because we want to have more likes and better comments.
Along the way, we lose our sense of self, our sense of identity, and our sense of pride. For me, blogging restores this because I have the possibility to share my thoughts in a public forum. I can look back and remember what I thought about and what I cared about at any point based on my posts and pictures. At the same time, I do get feedback from my family and friends, and this helps me craft a better portrait of myself in the technological time. Their words help me to reevaluate my process, which is how I grow and change as a writer and a person.
While their feedback is a form of external validation, I use it in a positive manner. It does not tear me down, it builds me up because I use their constructive criticism to help understand myself. If I present a post or picture, it comes from my stream of consciousness and living in the moment. It is authentic and original because typing helps me work through my brain and the tangled web that lives there.
We need to remember that every day is a gift, and we need to live in a way that expands our horizons. If you have the courage to write, to photograph, to publish yourself in a public forum, be proud of your accomplishment and your desire to share yourself with others. Don't let the negativity overwhelm you, and don't let the fear of not getting enough likes or not getting enough views cloud your judgment. You are important, and your opinion matters. Remember that.
Lucky Strike of the Day: I received a book about blogging as a present, and it really helped confirm my decision to start this blog and how I want to portray myself.