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Today, she writes about a very relatable topic, I mean I can’t be the only one on this table. Please comment your answer below; have you ever deleted a picture on any social media platform because you didn’t get the response you were expecting?, Have you ever felt disappointed because you didn’t get the likes and comments you were expecting on an Instagram post?, Ok, let’s make a twist, have you ever judged a post by the number of likes it had (I have to admit, I have done that😶) or have you ever refrained from posting because you were scared of insensitive comments or not getting likes and reactions?
I did a survey on my WhatsApp status yesterday and the response I got confirmed my assumptions, a lot of us experience that feeling of inadequacy when we don’t get the validation we expect on social media and it’s affecting your self-esteem.
Virtually all social media platforms have in-built validation systems; status and post views, followers, likes and reaction icons as well as comment sections. As the term implies they are there to reveal how people validate your post, how much influence you have and how people subscribe to your opinion and it is a core feature of social media, being a tool of socialization. However, statistics have revealed that a lot of social media users are psychologically affected by this validation system, largely because many have attached their sense of worth or value to how people validate them, which is not totally true or false.
Some of my friends have expressed how depressed they feel when they are on and off social media, that’s right; on and off. “On” because they get intimidated by it’s content, you’ve probably heard people say “twitter is not for the faint-hearted”, lol, newsflash, it’s really not. The same applies to other social media handles, the pressure is real guys. Another reason is feeling need to be felt, yea, the need to be among the opinion holders, the validated class. “Off” because it has a way of making one feel left out, we practically live on social media😴, especially now following the event of the pandemic. Truthfully, it’s exciting and relieves stress sometimes, but in return for mental baggage if one is not careful.
One of my responders complained of feeling inadequate when he makes a post on his status which by construct demands response and doesn’t get any even after a hundred views😑. With their permission, here are some of the responses;
Now, you don’t need more conviction to affirm that social media validation culture can affect ones self-esteem. This is why do many are pressured to portray a false version of themselves on social media.
Some days back, I watched a documentary on YouTube revealing the things people go through because of social media validation. The stressful edits to get the perfect picture, the surgeries to get natural looking enhanced body features, Botox injections and implants for that perfect look, just to amass likes and followers. It’s saddening that we have come to this.
Our mental health ultimately bears the brunt of this culture. The rate of social media induced depression and anxiety is daily on the rise , especially among teenagers and adolescents, but no one is left out.
There might not be a cure for this syndrome, but we can change the culture. Protect your mental health, but how?. Here are a few tips for you;
1- Take some time off: if you need to, do so, it’s worth it. If you find that you self-esteem or mental health is being afft, take time off and re-affirm your worth.
2- Understand that a bulk of social media content is a mirage. Not everything is real, so your validation transcends the media space.
3- Learn the act of self-love: re-affirm your worth to yourself, be the first to like your post if need be (I do that, lol)
4- Dunk on the haters and insensitive comments; if you can’t disable the comment section, or let them know you don’t care.
5- Be the change you want to see: leave a positive comment, stop post-judging, if you have nothing nice to say, it’s fine, scroll up.
Like I said earlier, validation tools are a core of social media, they can’t be done away with, but the validation culture can be dealt with, don’t attach your self-worth to social media validation, it can break you.
The conversation continues in the comment section lovelies😍 , share your experience and what has helped you. Don’t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe (validation😉). She Writes is still on🤩. Ciao.