Ah, the white-gloved thumb. This thumb has become one of the most influential figures in our community. It has crossed all racial and socioeconomic barriers. It has shaped the way that we live and how we reflect on our most memorable moments. It has revolutionalized business marketing strategies and even how political campaigns are run. Its power is like none other I have seen. But I must learn to ignore it.
See what's great about social media is that it connects us to each other in a way that was not possible before. For example, we are able to keep up with old classmates without having to physically track them down. We can keep in touch with someone on the other side of the globe without accruing a ridiculous amount of telephone expenses. It's all quite useful. But there is a downside. The instant gratification of positive feedback can be quite addictive.
Likes! We all love them. That thumbs up letting us know that we did a great job, took a great picture, seemed to be having a great time, etc. But what happens when we don't get them?
Have you ever been there? Where you get a ton of likes on your new selfie, but the next day when you share a picture from your birthday dinner you only get 1 or 2. Then you start to wonder if maybe the picture didn't really capture the moment. Maybe the lighting was bad, or maybe next time you'll just hire a photographer or friend who's known for taking great pictures to capture the moment. Or maybe the birthday dinner wasn't a good idea. Maybe (even though you had fun) you should have had a party instead. Maybe that's how you really "live it up."
Then you scroll through your news feed and see that someone else went hang gliding on their birthday or just for fun. Now your dinner seems insignificant and outdated because people are hang gliding. So next time, at the very least, you are definitely renting a boat. I mean who just goes out to dinner with friends anymore anyway?
Before you know it, you find yourself in a dependent relationship with the white-gloved thumb and life decisions are being made based on its response. You pitch a new venture and if the white-gloved thumb doesn't agree, then you quit before you get started. You choose clothes, hair styles, cars, homes, and every other visual thing in anticipation of its response. You become your own paparazzi providing exclusive pictures to your biggest fans/friends until even your own image becomes too hard to keep up with.
Let's give ourselves a break, shall we?
I think that we put way too much pressure on ourselves to not be paid as much as actual public figures. Actors, pop stars, politicians, the Kardashians - they make the big bucks. So let's let them stress about their image. We have enough on our plates to worry about. Besides, being the best version of our authentic selves is way more interesting than any made up role that we could portray.