How people present themselves to the rest of the world has existed long before the uses of social media: social classes in the 1800s, Gatsby-esque lifestyles of the 1920s, and now the platforms that have begun to define us as individuals. When we hear someone’s name, we automatically think to look at their Instagram in order to gain more knowledge of the person. We dissect their feed, and when we are finished we leave with what we believe is a complete synopsis of the person.
I was controlled by my social media presence. While I had my previous Instagram account, I would’ve said that I didn’t care what I posted, who followed me, or how my life seemed to others. However, since deleting said Instagram account, I’ve realized how much I would let that determine what I shared. I have noticed myself regretting deleting my old profile and its 1,000+ followers and all of my pictures that depicted a happy, social, energetic life. But, in reality, I wasn’t really living my life.
Stepping back, I’ve realized that with every move I made, I questioned how I could get a good enough picture out of it. I chose not to post things that I didn’t think would be popular amongst the public, and when I would post, I would wonder how others would see it and if they would like it. But then it hit me, if I feel the need to change myself for the satisfaction of others, then I am no longer trying to please the one person that matters, me.
One day, I was sitting in my floor with a friend, ranting about how I felt physically and mentally drained from everything going on around me and trying to keep up this façade. I realized how impersonal Instagram is, and how I was a stranger in my own profile. I felt like I couldn’t show the other side of me, the side who loves to write, obsesses over Lord of the Rings, and is so nerdy that her favorite author is tattooed on her body (sorry mom). This part of me, which happens to be my favorite and what I believe is the truest, was never shown. To my thousand followers, I was just another face who was trying to keep the image I had already built for myself, fearing that I wouldn’t get the same attention if I changed.
So, I deleted it. After erasing it and having made a new one (which you should follow), I’ve realized that I do in fact want to show my friends and anyone else who knows of me every aspect of myself, the fun one I was public about before, and the side I hid just to keep up my reputation. Now, I have this fresh sense of freedom, I can post whatever I want, be it food, a quote, my travels, and I won’t even blink an eye. I don’t care about likes, what time I should post, and what people are thinking. I don’t care what I look like to everyone else, as long as I am happy.