Today ‘likes’ and attention given online are sought out as validation and a form of success. Many people have the goal to become ‘instafamous’. Society looks up to these members of the online community as those who have attained fame, fortune, and the perfect life along with the perfect face and body. Influencers, fashion bloggers, instamodels, and others form the most admirable of the online realm. They promote skinny teas and fast fashion in exchange for a check (and at times with no compensation but the possibility of being shared on a brand’s account). The brand ultimately wins.
The illusion of a faux lifestyle is sold to the masses in exchange for an ego stroke in the form of attention from strangers. These are the people that live their early 20’s with their parents, avoiding a 9 to 5 or school in hopes of achieving ‘instafame’. I know because I’ve been there in the past, frustrated, anxious, and never feeling like enough. I was seeking validation from an online presence when I should have been seeking a bigger purpose. In reality money PayPal’d here and there through sponsorships and affiliates is not a sustainable or responsible source of money.
What will happen when instagram is no longer a vehicle to get invites to parties and free product? Will you have an education or a purpose in life that fuels you with joy and effects others? Tell me, what will happen? Having an instagram following and using it to promote products is not bad. But I am asking everyone to look at the big picture beyond this vapid and vain online community. How will you make a true impact on the world in real life? What do you want to be remembered for when you die? For example, 30k followers online and the promotion of unethical products might not be the goal.
This is not meant to shame, but to be thought provoking. I have spent 6 years online struggling with validation and purpose side by side with other beautiful women who have expressed the exact same insecurities. Do not rely on people’s perception of you based off of a curated feed that highlights your best moments to float you through the rest of life.
Have you shared similar struggles online? Share your story in the comments below for myself and others to learn from.
I love you all,
Photos courtesy of Vintage Roots Photography