Holidays have become a conquest for having the most likes on Instagram. It starts out by stopping everything that we’re doing, pulling out our phones and taking a dozen pictures from all angles possible. We then spend another ten minutes contemplating a caption. Should I go with lyrics from Beyonce’s new album or should I stick to emojis? Now it’s time for a filter and God knows how long that will take.
An hour later, we put our phones down only to pick them up again and check how many likes our last post received. By then, that beautiful sunset which we should have been watching is long gone and the thunder clouds are rolling in.
We had the perfect moment but we didn’t savor it because we felt the need to show it to others.
Most of us social media users have a slight obsession with sharing everything; our brunch squad, the surprise dinners our partners make for us, the view from our hotel rooms. We have all been this person at some point in our lives or we have been sitting across from one. And it’s frustrating as hell. Aren’t we here to talk and catch up? Then why are we ignoring each other and hunching over our phones instead?
Do our followers really care about where we are and the hashtags that come with it? Ask yourself this: do you care for these things when you see them on your feed? Sure, some pictures are great but they don’t make you contemplate about them on a deeper level – after all, isn’t that the purpose of the scrolling feature?
We don’t need Instagram to validate our happiness; the increased number of likes do not equal to increased levels of happiness. Sure, some people look ecstatic in their photos and their holidays look like something taken out of luxury magazines, but are they as happy as they look? Or did they just get into a huge argument with their family? Was the food that good or was it super bland? These are things that pictures don’t convey to us.
Worst of all, our Instagram feed has become a battleground, a field of major competition. We become intimidated by other peoples’ pictures and we feel the need to ‘up our game’. A sudden sense of insecurity begins to develop as we feel urged to validate our happiness with others.
What we could do instead is feel comfortable with ourselves and develop the mentality of I know I am happy and I don’t need anyone else to tell me that I am. We need to enjoy the moments life offers to us because the best ones come without any consideration and are amplified with a worry free attitude. Why make time for checking Instagram every ten minutes when you could be sipping another margarita by the beach?
Now don’t get me wrong; I love taking pictures and my summer destinations are no exception. They act as reminders for the great times I had, especially on days where I am stuck in the office. And yes, I am also guilty of uploading a photo or two as I bask under the tropical suns. But I am looking to change this last part.
Of course, this will not be an easy task but I am going to take baby steps in achieving this. Maybe I will start out by waiting until the end of the day when I am cozied up in my comfortable hotel bed to upload something. One thing for sure though is that I refuse to waste precious moments by fretting over how I look to my Instagram followers.
We don’t need to tell people how happy we are nor do we need to feed their curiosities. We don’t need to fulfill their expectations of us, because if anything, we should be enjoying our vacations for ourselves.