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How many times a day do you check your social media? I know I personally check it more than I would like to admit. Just the other day I gave myself a little pep talk. I told myself I needed to be as productive as possible. Ten minutes later I was on the couch scrolling through Instagram. Okay, yes, there are worse habits to have, but imagine if you calculated all the hours spent aimlessly scrolling on social media. I would rather not know how many hours I spend on each platform.

As much as I pretend to hate it, I love social media. Mostly because I feel like it keeps me connected to the world. If I don’t check Twitter — I won’t know Trump’s most recent tweet. And then how am I supposed to chime in when people complain about it? Basically, it’s just blatant FOMO (fear of missing out). It shouldn’t concern me whether or not Trump claims Meryl Streep is “overrated.” That has absolutely NO direct affect on my life.

Why do we post? There’s a need for validation. Everyone wants to be “liked.” But I think there’s a line — even if it’s hypothetical. A line between self expression and complete self obsession. When I was in school and had to present my work in my art or design classes, I would have mini panic attacks. I would be extremely self-critical and never think it was good enough to present in front of an audience.

The other side of the spectrum, which seems completely foreign to me, feels the need to constantly post selfies or photos of oneself. Because there is need to have other people “like” us. I’ve gotten to the point where I literally have to force myself to say “who cares?!”

We all need an outlet, one way or another, a place to express ourselves. Some might use music, art, poetry, anything really. It’s a matter of whether or not you want to put it on a public platform. If I’m being honest – I think a lot of people forget — the Internet is not a private place. NOTHING is private on the Internet.

There’s never going to be a perfect balance between self expression and obsession. But don’t let the critics keep you quiet. That’s something I had to learn and I still struggle with today. All I know is if you’re feeling yourself, go ahead and take that selfie.


Author: Ashlee O’Neil
Author: Ashlee is a 22-year-old living in Chicago. If she’s not out taking photos – she’s probably eating or sharing her thoughts on the Internet.
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  1. Thank you for the information, I am in school doing an exhibition, I am researching about social media and this post looks really interesting to me and it might help with my exhibition, Thank you again.


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