By Autumn Moon
As women, we have the right to exist and enjoy life without any particular purpose. But Jia Tolentino, a writer for The New Yorker, has argued the rise of technology and social media has completely stripped us of this ability.
To the titans of today’s most remunerative industries, mainly white men, women are no longer fellow humans, but rather resources for them to utilize.
Many companies manufacture technologies that capitalize on a “social validation feedback loop,” in which people overuse social media for social approbation. In turn, it becomes nearly impossible to halt this cycle of addictive behavior of always worrying about our next “like,” post or tweet.
Some might argue that social media can boost a woman’s confidence, and in some instances, that could be true. Yet, think about how you feel in the moments that you don’t hit your regular amount of likes or the one person who you wanted to see your post doesn’t. We waste so much time online because we’re constantly looking for a dopamine rush that isn’t even based on real life.
People might ask why this matters. I mean, who cares if you use social media sometimes?
The first argument lies in the simple fact that we spend so much time worrying about posts when we could be out living our lives. Have you ever wasted time taking pictures with friends at a super fun party instead of enjoying it? Have you ever dressed a certain way or changed your outfit for a picture? We should care less about the post and more about the moment.
The next argument is that social media prompts us to worry about what other people think, when the only opinion about our image that should be important is our own. Ever get a mean comment? Or significantly less likes on a picture of food or a sunset compared to that cute bikini snap from Aruba?
We all experience times like these, and we’d be lying to ourselves if we said they didn’t get to us. However, we are giving social media the power to make us feel this way by addictively utilizing apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
I am aware that suggesting that we disconnect from social media altogether is unreasonable – most of us need it for school, for our jobs and for our social lives. Being without social media these days is like being without coffee; technically possible, but really impossible. However, what we all need to start doing is giving social media less power to control us and our desires.
Who cares if you don’t get as many likes? Post that candid. Post that artsy photo. Post that picture that isn’t as glamorous, but you love it anyway, because it shows the real you. Women can do anything, so why let a screen hold us back from living?