After every friend’s vacation there is of course the inflow of pictures and videos on your timeline. It feels impossible to avoid the beautiful, adventurous, fantastical photos that your friends seem to be constantly uploading to their timelines as they are on holiday. We think of posting pictures as a way to share all of the fun we are having with our friends and to make them feel involved. However, it seems to me that there is more of an underlying problem with social media than we like to admit to ourselves.

As much as my friends must love seeing me post all of my pictures from this trip to see what cool things I have been up to, I’m sure there is also a twinge of jealousy at the fact that I am having such a blast on this trip. This small bit of jealousy is where all of the problems with social media stem from.

Social media is about connections. It is used to connect millions of people who live all over the world. But this also means that social media acts as a facilitator to compare ourselves to other people. The common issue noticed with social media is people comparing their body image to others. Social media has made us feel as if we can only put forth our best and most socially acceptable selves in the eye of the public.

This seems to strike true more than ever with people when they go on vacation or do or try something adventurous or out of the norm. Whether we realize it or not, we all have this innate desire to prove that we are living the better life in comparison to our friends. We look for social approval and hope that by posting these fantastic pictures, we will get the attention we “deserve” and we hope that we will make other people think we are cool as a result of the amazing things we are doing and seeing.

This has also caused problems with the way that people spend their holidays. Instead of focusing on their remarkable experiences, people have become more consumed with taking the most artistic photos and applying the correct filters, making their experience something unrealistic and showing how little they truly appreciated what they had just seen. I really notice this behavior in myself and the rest of the group when I overheard someone say at the Louvre in Paris, “I just wanna take a quick pic with my girl Mona and then let’s move on to the next photo stop.” It pained me to hear that taking the picture just to prove that she had been there was more important to this girl than actually appreciating all of the amazing artwork that the musée du Louvre has to offer. We are all guilty of these moments a times, but it is imperative not to forget to live in the moment as well. Take too many pictures and you might feel as if you only saw the world with a lens instead of with your own eyes.

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