We take a million different pictures of ourselves, our food, and our vacations just so we can get that perfect picture at the perfect angle that will get us the most “likes” on social media. Getting “likes” is a natural high that many of us crave. So many of us are guilty of posting just for “likes,” including myself.
Wanting “likes” for engagement for your business or brand is understandable, but craving personal photo “likes” from strangers is problematic. We post pictures we truly like, but if they don’t get enough “likes,” we overanalyze our lighting, clothes, and makeup and end up taking it down. And it’s all about our need for validation. We aren’t confident enough in ourselves, so we seek out validation from strangers in the form of “likes” on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, I tried a little social media experiment.
I hadn’t seen my friends in a long time, and I cried about it, so I did what no one does in this day and age: posted an “unflattering” photo on my accounts. My eyes were puffy and red, I wasn’t smiling, and I didn’t use a filter. I was completely raw and real. But guess what happened? People responded well to me just being myself. One of my best friends even thanked me and said that it’s important for social media users to see that their friends’ lives aren’t always that great.
Social media isn’t going away anytime soon, but we as a society need to stop looking for validation and “likes” from strangers on social media. Instead, we need to change how we see ourselves.
Before you delete that unflattering picture of yourself that you can’t decide whether or not to post, just post it, “flaws” and all. Stop looking for strangers to give you “likes” and comments, and post photos because you genuinely love them. Showing your real life on social media is far more valuable than anything anyone could say about your photos.