We live in an age where everything is digitalised, which has become progressively worse throughout this unprecedented pandemic. We turn to social media to seek validation to boost our own self-esteem in something as small as shares on a post, retweets on tweets, and likes on photos. But have you noticed how that small boost in self-esteem is temporary? It seems as though we have been raised to post on social media to impress people rather than to impact people to the point where trolls can really damage a person’s image and mental health. For something that was created to keep people so connected, it ironically also makes people feel so disconnected – disconnected with themselves, with their friendships, and with strangers.
Social media is the drug of the most recent generations because it gives us something which the real-world lacks; it gives us immediacy, direction and makes us feel a sense of value as an individual. But is our self-worth really determined by how many likes we get on an Instagram post or how many comments we get on profile pictures on Facebook? NO! Never let something that is supposed to encourage us to connect with others, disconnect you from yourself. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship anyone can ever have with anyone. This is because out of everyone in the entire world, the person you will spend all your time with is yourself. If you invest all of your time and energy in pleasing others at the expense of your own mental health, I personally find it is not really worth it. We invest most of our energy to please others which can really cause an 'energy burnout' as I have personally experienced. Being part of the generation that is glued to our phone screens waiting for a notification, our lives become limited within our phones. We try so hard to find happiness inside these abstract things and do not realise that this is at the expense of our physical and mental health as well as living beyond this digital age. I know that when I share stories with my family about my life, I want to be able to recall real adventures of camping in the woods, writing poetry, pursuing my dreams, and caring for myself and others, not about that one post that I wrote where I got 99 likes.
I will leave this post with this thought: you would not let your phone run out of energy because if it did, it would stop working. In that same context, do not let your energy run out pleasing people at the other end of another computer, tablet, or phone screen. Self-care and your wellbeing are priorities, not luxuries. So put down your phone, your computer, your tablet, your spaceship or whatever you are reading this on and pick yourself up because you are worthy.
Written by Prerna Abbi