I don’t manage my own Instagram account—one of my best friends does. She made it, picks the captions, edits the pictures, tags herself and follows people for me. She has my login information and posts stories, some of which I don’t even know about. See, I didn’t want an Instagram because I knew I was going to spend more time scrolling on it than I would on homework, and I was right. It’s always fun to see the new things I’ve posted, and everyone else’s photos, of course.
I wrote a poem about someone who I never see anymore, and one of the lines I wrote was “My life in pictures, my time with you.” Drawing parallels from social media to this line of my poem, I can see the similarities in the amount of time people spend on social media informing people of what they’re doing, and the time they actually spend living. But that doesn’t apply to just Instagram. All social media tells a story. Your story, your timeline. You must be careful about what story you tell.
We tell the world who we are and what we’re about by posting on social media. I’ve seen people whose lives have been altered because of something stupid they said or did online. Most of the time, we post to share information, to let the world know something or because we want appreciation. Don’t roll your eyes, I know you do it. No one posts a selfie intending for someone to think, “Man, I know what’s going on with them now. That selfie really informed me on their life.”
Nope, we do it because we want to show off, be noticed and have someone tell us how pretty we are. I don’t know where this trend of showing off every detail of your life came from or where it’s heading, and I’m not sure I want to. In an interview, actor Will Smith talked about what it was like to be a teenager, “I was very dumb when I was fourteen. Nobody will find out. No Twitter. No Facebook. So when I was fourteen, I was dumb, but I was dumb in private.” Now that we are constantly online, everyone knows everything. I don’t know how great that actually is.
Social media is a great thing that connects everyone everywhere, and I’m so grateful for it. Nevertheless, we do need to be extra careful how we present ourselves and what we show the world. You might look cute and that’s cool, but does everyone need to know your every thought? If nothing else, just be careful and put it all on your finsta. That seems to work for a lot of people.