Although Crystal Abidin’s blog “#hashtagmylife” outlines the social media usage of commercial lifestyle bloggers, the habits of these bloggers epitomize the habits of everyday social media users.
Everything that is posted on social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat—has been altered in some way to portray a specific, public image. Abidin questions, “…how calculated are your posts?” Posts are always calculated, but to varying degrees. Through personal experience, I know I always calculate a post—no matter how small. I wonder who is going to look at it, and what these individuals are going to think. These thoughts deeply affect the way in which I want to be perceived by others. Consequently, as these thoughts run through my mind, I will alter the post to fit the image I want to be viewed.
The trouble with our social media image is that this image is not our true self. In life, you cannot add a filter, you can only be yourself. Social media is by no means a negative mechanism; however, it can have negative affects on people’s lives. The constant feeling that one must update their profiles or feeds, in order to stay relevant, is hindering. We feel gratification when we receive likes on our posts, and, conversely, we feel unhappy when our posts aren’t appreciated to the degree we believe it deserves. The sentiment that one needs to update and maintain their social media image is constant, but one must take a step back, and truly question how important this image is.