Holidays have become a conquest for having the most likes on Instagram. It starts by stopping everything we’re doing, pulling out our phones, and taking a dozen photos from every possible angle. Then we spent another ten minutes contemplating a legend. Should I go with the lyrics for Beyonce’s new album or should I stick with emojis? Now is the time for a filter and God knows how long it will take.
An hour later we put down our phones only to pick them up again and check how many likes our latest post got. By then that beautiful sunset that we should have been seeing is long gone and the thunder clouds are rolling in.
We had the perfect moment but we didn’t enjoy it because we felt the need to show it to others.
Most of the users of social networks have a slight obsession with sharing everything; our brunch squad, the surprise dinners that our partners prepare for us, the view from our hotel rooms. We have all been this person at some point in our lives or have been sitting in front of one. And it is very frustrating. Aren’t we here to talk and catch up? So why are we ignoring each other and leaning over our phones?
Do our followers really care where we are and the hashtags that go with it? Ask yourself this: do you care about these things when you see them in your feed? Sure, some images are great, but they don’t make you look at them on a deeper level; after all, isn’t that the purpose of the shift function?
We don’t need Instagram to validate our happiness; higher number of likes does not equate to higher levels of happiness. Sure, some people look ecstatic in their photos and their vacation looks like something out of fancy magazines, but are they as happy as they look? Or did you just have a big argument with your family? Was the food that good or super bland? These are things that images do not convey to us.
The worst of all is that our Instagram feed has become a battlefield, a field of great competition. We are intimidated by other people’s images and feel the need to “improve our game.” A sudden sense of insecurity begins to develop when we feel compelled to validate our happiness with others.
Instead, what we could do is feel comfortable with ourselves and develop the mindset that I know that I am happy and I don’t need anyone else to tell me that I am. We need to enjoy the moments that life offers us because the best ones come without any consideration and are amplified with a carefree attitude. Why take the time to check Instagram every ten minutes when you could be sipping another margarita on the beach?
Now don’t get me wrong; I love taking pictures and my summer destinations are no exception. They act as reminders of the good times that I had, especially on the days when I am stuck in the office. And yes, I am also guilty of uploading a photo or two while enjoying under the tropical suns. But I am looking to change this last part.
Of course, this will not be an easy task, but I will take small steps to achieve it. Maybe I start by waiting until the end of the day, when I snuggle into my comfortable hotel bed to carry something up. However, one thing for sure is that I refuse to waste precious moments worrying about how I look to my Instagram followers.
We don’t need to tell people how happy we are nor do we need to feed their curiosities. We don’t need to meet your expectations of us, because if anything, we should be enjoying our vacation for ourselves.