For quite sometime I have been holding myself back from sharing as much as I’d like to on my social media accounts because of one reason: what are people going to think of me if I post this picture or share this article?
I’ve always loved using social media platforms. I would share pictures, articles and memes on Facebook on an almost daily basis, post stupid selfies on Instagram, add trivial moments on my Snapchat and comment on every passing cloud on Twitter.
But posting less on social media is good right? It gives you more time to socialise and ‘live in the real world’. That’s what all the researches tell us. Well, not in my case. I became less social and more depressed instead.
While I did cut down on the stuff I shared on social media, I didn’t reduce the time I spent on it. I saw what other people shared, how many likes and comments their pictures and other shares received. And all the while, I would think, I’d never get all that attention because I’m not ‘cool enough’.
I remember a lot of times I would ask my friend if I should post a picture on Instagram. That’s normal if you do it once but I sought confirmation several times and this lack of confidence indicated that there is something seriously wrong. Before I share something, I would think if other people on my feed will ‘approve’. I’m not exaggerating, that’s literally the word that would come to my mind.
It’s understandable that everyone wants to project their best image on social media considering that it is a platform where we are sharing our lives with so many people. But when you become so obsessed with your public image that you start losing your own personality to create a fake one, that is where it becomes unhealthy.
So today I did something that I wouldn’t normally do. A friend tagged me into one of those challenges where you are supposed to respond by uploading a selfie for no concrete reason. Fulfilling this challenge was something I would never have done but today I forced myself to do it. Why should I feel embarrassed for posting MY pictures on MY account?
Did this somehow ’empower’ me? No. Did writing about this suddenly make me feel good about my image? Again, no. Yet I’m glad I took this step.
Of course, there are other, very valid reasons why people opt to share less. Privacy is a huge issue. Personally, I wouldn’t like countless people goggling at my personal pictures or thoughts which is why I share information with as few people as possible. That’s another debate though. Right now, the point I’m trying to make is that when the imaginary opinion of people you trust and love begins to cause anxiety, there is a problem that needs to be solved.
What patterns do you follow before sharing anything on social media? Let me know in the comments.
If you, or someone you know, needs to take this first step that will help break the fear of ‘log kia kahain ge?’ (what will people think), share this post with them.
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