You pick up your phone, unlock it, and see all of the red notifications. You see you have 5 unread messages, 6 comments, and a whole lot of likes on a social media post. Do you ever think about the instant gratification those little red numbers give you? How much value YOU feel like they give you? Or, do they really add any real and lasting value to you at all?
You would be crazy to say that getting likes and comments and having people reach out to you doesn’t make you feel appreciated; but when you only find fulfillment in your social status through the “hearts” and “chat bubbles” in your notifications, that’s when the source of value you are drinking from becomes detrimental.
Those likes won’t be there for you at your lowest moments, and they definitely won’t be something that you frame on your wall. What do those little red notification “numbers” mean to you?
For some, it can be suffocating and mess with your mind. It makes you put your value in something that doesn’t really matter. It’s crazy to think how easily we get validation from the social media “gold stars” and how we can feel shame when we don’t.
I’ll be honest, for me when I open up my phone, I am almost always hoping to see notifications from other people to fill me up in that moment. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t even a slight level of unconscious disappointment if I open up Instagram and don’t see any red notifications. It is a stigma that has been implanted into today’s culture. We compare the number of likes we get and how many followers we have to other people. I’m sure you have in some way looked at somebody differently and how you value you them when you knew the number of followers they have on social media or how many likes they get on all of their posts. In a way we are living in the world of that Black Mirror episode when people really ARE valued on how many stars everyone else gives them.
Yes, it is 2019 and so many businesses including IVY heavily function through social media. Likes, comments, followers, are a valuable component to building community through social media platforms. However, when you are personally seeking your self-worth in those numbers, that’s when you need to put your phone down and start telling yourself in the mirror that you are a badass that doesn’t need validation from a number but more so value and worth in the people we surround ourselves with and spending real and authentic face to face time with them.
I don’t think there is one solution or fix to getting rid of the stigma of false value we get from social media. But there is so much power in what we tell ourselves. The choice of where we see our value is rooted from. So put that phone down and start talking to the people right in front of you. The real and authentic face to face relationships are where true value is found. Who cares how many likes you get on that post or how many followers you have, because those little numbers on your screen doesn't define who you are.