Every morning I wake up, the first thing I do is check my phone. It’s like a reflex. For the next 30 minutes or so my little finger will exercise by scrolling down an endless feed of photos, articles, and news updates. Whether it’s the latest meme, Harry Styles first solo single dropping, or the next it girl making headlines, you can rest assure that something new is happening and you’re only a click away from finding out more.
Social media has changed the way we get our news and communicate with each other. It has given us the opportunity to make friends, discover new places and be in-the-know of any developing stories worldwide. This is great, it’s like having the ability to teleport yourself from one place to another, but through the simple screen of your phone.
Though I love social media, and it satisfies my curiosity to always know more, I can’t deny it also affects my self-esteem and highlights what I don’t have, what I wish I had, and the never-ending comparison I constantly fight with in my head. Social media without a doubt, in my opinion, has emphasized how big the competition is when it comes to finding a job or any opportunity. On a daily basis, my feed is constantly being updated on people’s success, accomplishments, dreams, and aspirations.
Now, before you label me as the envious type, please know this is not the case. In fact, I am very happy when people reach some level of happiness and find success for things they’ve worked hard for. This is what everyone hopes to achieve. But the more time I spend scrolling through my feed the more I realize how much bigger the competition grows. What do I mean exactly? Well I’m sure that at this very moment or in the past few weeks you have applied to an internship or a job. You have clicked through numerous applications and read through many qualifications, only to read once again that you must have X amount of experience and know how to do X number of things.
The demand for certain jobs seems to only increase and the pressure to make sure you can do almost everything is so daunting. Every platform is inundated with writers, bloggers, actors, filmmakers, YouTubers, photographers, freelancers, and as the population grows, so does the qualifications and requirements. The amount of talent I see on social is quite amazing, I honestly do feel inspired by everyone. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel discouraged because at some point I start to compare myself with these people and tell myself I need to do more. So much more, where nothing I ever do seems to be enough.
Instead of it being a fun thing to go on for a few minutes, it turns into this ongoing comparison of each other’s lives. You no longer take the time to dedicate yourself to the things you care about or take care of yourself, but instead find yourself wondering: “How can I get more followers?” “How can I get someone to notice me?” More often, jobs are requiring you to have a large following on your social channels, along with making sure your feed is well curated and that to some extent what you like, read and enjoy aligns to what they are about and are looking for. Bringing up the question: “Am I living for myself or am I living for someone else?”
Do you ever stop and wonder how much time it takes for someone to upload a photo? Or how far they went to curate a feed or tweet, just so it could get likes? I sometimes get frustrated with myself because though I love the community social media has created, it has also impacted the way we compete to obtain opportunities. I wish that instead the competition would transition into helping one another. If these platforms would send the message that there’s room for everyone, I think the pressure to be perfect would die down, and the anxiousness of being “successful” wouldn’t be so scary and daunting. Every time I go on social, I find myself panicking because I feel like I haven’t amounted to anything or reached a level of “success” everyone seems to be achieving.
At some point, I have to stop and acknowledge that the work I do and the time I dedicate to the things I love is enough and is as important as anyone else’s. I may not have a large following on Instagram, and I may not have the most amazing Photoshop skills, and I may not own the latest Gucci, but the hard work, love and dedication I put into things is valuable for any position and opportunity recruiters and companies are looking for.
I work everyday to remind myself that I am enough, and no amount of following or popularity can tell me otherwise.
You are enough.