The other day my boyfriend and I had a random conversation about how we’ve seen phones evolve, which then brought up the conversation of the start of myspace, Facebook and now apps like instagram and Snapchat. Initially I think platforms like myspace and Facebook were made solely to provide a way for us to stay in contact with people we otherwise wouldn’t. But, somewhere along the line things became advanced and really became platforms for people to express themselves. My issue with current social media is that it makes it so easy and inevitable for people to lie and deceive others. Now that I’m 21 I utilize my social media differently then I would have years ago and as I repeatedly have had the conversation that I’m about to have with you, I realize I’m not alone in letting social media get to me. While it may sound dumb and silly, I think a lot of us fail to realize how much social media controls us.
Up until a few months ago, I followed around 900 people on Instagram alone and had 3,500+ friends on my Facebook account. These numbers were made up of people I knew personally and others who were strangers. It all started with my Facebook account which I logged into and found that those “strangers” were tagging me in nonsense. After taking countless classes about social media presence I realized I needed to clean up my account, so rather than delete over a thousand friends I didn’t know, I opted to make a new facebook. Shifting to instagram, I would scroll through my timeline and realize I followed a lot of people from Philly that utilized their social media to express political beliefs, nightly outings and local news among some things that I personally think social media isn’t the place for. Yet one day I realized I don’t get on social media to see any of that, I solely have social media to get inspired. I have accounts on platforms that allow me to know what the new fashion trends are, what sales are approaching, what new makeup products are launching and things of the sort. This then lead me to the journey of “revamping” my social media to be tailored to my wants and needs. I unfollowed every account on instagram that did not inspire me to be a better person or that inspired my passions such as makeup and fashion. Ever since then I’ve enjoyed social media in a different light. I see the positive in it because now it doesn’t stress me out or put a negative energy in my life. I know some of you are thinking, “ok Aja, how could a app possibly put a negative energy in your life?”, Easy! You get so sucked into the pictures and post that they seem so real. You forget that people literally can lie on social media and you would have no clue. People are given a platform to create a life if thats what they want to do; some people act like they’re super accomplished while others act like they’re making millions and can afford specific lifestyles. Unfortunately, in a city like Philly, it happens far to often and rather than call someone’s bluff, I unfollowed them all together. Before my revamp, I would delete my social media all together & “detox” from the made up lives, but then I realized why am I letting people push me off platforms I need. Thus, my decision to remove everything off my accounts that did not add to me and my growing brand have only made me better.
Additionally, I know so many people who have told me that they found that social media can be apart of their insecurities just because you often find yourself looking at someone’s page comparing what you have or where you are in life. I honestly think that that weakness has nothing to do with how “secure” you are. I think its perfectly human to look at someone and wonder. But the important thing is that you should follow people who inspire you to become better and reach a level of success and happiness rather than follow people who make you feel less than. Realize what you seek out of social media like I did, and what you want social media to do for you. My instagram revolves around the concept that I like to get dressed and my makeup. Therefore I always tag my outfits because of the countless DM’s I get from people who are inquiring about where I got my shirt or what shoes I’m wearing. That’s why I’m here.. To share my love for things that I know other people also love. If your one of those people who feel like social media is taking from you rather than adding, please realize everything isn’t always what it seems, especially in a picture/video.