Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. The main social media networks of this time, mostly used by young millennials like us. We use it to stalk, learn something about a person, or get self-validation from the number of likes we have on a picture. 

I've seen my friends freak when they don't get a certain number of likes on a picture, and compare themselves to others who get 200-300 likes along with a bunch of comments. Not only do they tear themselves down, they tear the other person down as well. 

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andrew Mackenzie

People consider that the number of likes you get on a picture, proves how "popular" you are. My friends always tell me that I need the perfect Instagram, so they can feel good about themselves. Why do we need superficial, materialistic things such as likes and comments to make us feel happy and 'liked'? 

During my high school years, I had a Facebook for my first year, but than deactivated it for three years. Why? I was experiencing a struggle in my life. I did not know what I wanted and didn't have that many good, solid friends at the time. Throughout those years, I went through many ups and downs. However, at the very end I met my two best friends who liked me for me, even though my social media game wasn't A1. 

In college, I got a bit more active on my social medias to keep up-to-date with important college deadlines, groups, and see how my friends were doing when we weren't together. My first year, I will say, I got very obsessed with self-acceptance and used superficial things such as "likes, comments, followers, Facebook friends" to give me the ego boost. A lot of the people I surrounded myself with at that time were self-absorbed and used their social media accounts and titles to get approval from others.  I got influenced by them to get a sense of validation and approval through my social media. I would constantly keep up with my accounts causing myself to be so absorbed with what I put online, that I lost my sense of self.

beer, coffee
andrew Mackenzie

I started to notice how these superficial things boost up people's egos and make them appear extremely cocky when trying to impress people they don't like. I'm not like that. I never liked the spotlight. Every time I'm put on the spotlight, I get flashbacks to grade school and high school me where I used to get bullied for not being pretty, skinny, or talkative. I never let likes and followers get to me back then as it was not a representation of who I am. As we grow older, I start to sense the pressure from the society to have a better social media if I want to meet people's standards. 

With all these negative thoughts, and a blurry vision of who are my real friends, I decided to put myself as a priority and start therapy. Not because my ego was getting crushed and I needed self-validation, but because I've been facing internal conflicts that I bottled up for years without telling others for fear of being seen as doing it for attention.

After six months of weekly sessions, I started to feel more at ease with who I am. The moment you get that degree in your hand, all that time you spend on likes, comments, and followers are going to mean nothing. The number of "followers and likes" you have does not make you better than anyone else. Enjoy the picture taking with friends and going out days, but don't let yourself down just because you didn't get a certain number of likes. It won't mean anything at end. 

Remember: you have the power to control all that negativity. Don't let what anybody says tear you down. You have one goal and that is to get out of college and start a bomb life for yourself. Don't let people's words tear you down either. It sucks, and of course you start to feel like the problem, but that's your mind messing with you. There is nothing wrong with you. Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don't strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.