Hi, my name is Elise, and I am an affirmation addict. Wow. That was hard. But, hey, they say the first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem.
Okay, lets be honest, an affirmation addict isn’t an actual disease but at this point, it should be. Google’s secondary definition of the word affirmation is “Emotional support of encouragement.” As human beings, this is something essential to survival, however, my generation has taken it to another level. As a direct result of social media, we crave affirmations from our peers in the form of likes, favorites, shares, retweets, reblogs, and revines. Its almost as if we become irrelevant without loads of internet attention, and with all these new social network apps popping up left and right, keeping up with it all is exhausting. At what point do we draw the line?
As a 16-year-old girl with an iPhone, I consider myself pretty adept at social networking. I never thought it was particularly harmful. Then I took a step back, I realized what it was doing to me. Instead of using my time to do read and do homework and do other things that I know I should be doing, I sit staring at my phone, constantly refreshing news feeds to get the latest information. I need to know, right now, the thoughts of all the people I don’t know, don’t like, and or don’t care about. Why? I have no clue. What’s more is I need these people to need to know about me too. I need random people at my school to like my Instagram picture of me dressed as a cat, or else I am a loser with no friends.
See how ridiculous I sound? How we all sound? Why do I need likes to feel like I exist? Honestly, I could go my entire life without knowing what someone thought of Breaking Bad last night, or what someone else had for dinner. And I can promise that 99.9 percent of people don’t care how I look in whiskers. So why do we spend hours of our life cyberstalking people we either hate or will never speak to? I couldn’t tell you. I wish I could say it’s because we have nothing better to do, but we actually do. We just chose to do this instead. With skyrocketing amounts of data usage, our self-esteem levels plunge, and for what? To refresh repeatedly hoping someone acknowledges the fact that we post funny memes about returning to school on Monday? I’m tired of wasting my time obsessing my dependency on social media attention.
So here is my solution.
Hi, my name is Elise, and I am an affirmation addict. I realize that I am a living human on the planet earth, no matter how many likes I get. I am not invisible even though no one retweeted my tweet that was clearly hilarious. I may have less likes on my Facebook profile picture than the girl I was just creeping on, but guess what? I’ve never met her anyway, so I don’t care.
What are you going to do?