Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Social media has its place. It allows us to connect and share our lives with those who don't live physically close to us. However, it has also reinforced a dangerous need for external approval. Every outfit, haircut, makeup application, and pair of shoes is posted and likes from others validate our choices and worse, they validate us. We interpret likes on social media as proof of acceptance. As if that's not bad enough, this need for proof from others is insatiable. No matter how many likes and positive comments we receive today, we are right back there tomorrow, posting a new picture, waiting to see who and how many affirmations we will receive to prove to us what should be an internal realization—that our lives matter and have value.
When you give people the power to determine how you should feel about yourself, you develop an unhealthy attachment to fluid, unstable, and subjective sources. You become dependent on the opinions of others to prove what should come from within—that you are beautiful, that you matter, and that your life has value.
Compliments are wonderful. They can provide you with an added lift and remind you of who you are. However, others should not determine how you feel about yourself. External sources can provide further confirmation, but should not serve as proof of who you are. All of the proof you need is in your existence. Your beauty, worth, and value exist simply because you do. No amount of likes or positive comments should carry more weight than the way you treat and how you feel about yourself.