The start of the school year brings a fresh wave of exciting firsts. Moving into a new dorm, a solar eclipse, the first day of school, and who can forget Jersey Friday? All of these moments constitute the need for a social media post. Your mom posts a sappy caption with your sweaty post-move-in picture, and you cringe. But maybe we should be taking notes on mom’s use of Facebook and other accounts you regret helping her create. You might refrain from posting a cliché picture of one of these events that literally every other Harding student is going through. Maybe you apologize for “another” picture of the sun or your mad dorm decorating skills. I say, you don’t need to apologize.
You should be posting on your social media for you. Why do we stress so much about who sees our picture? Some might scroll right past it and some may take half a second to double tap. They’ll probably forget about your post in a matter of seconds when they see that a couple posts down from yours, Taylor Swift’s new single dropped.
The point is, it’s your profile to display whatever you want. Think of social media as an online scrapbook or an art exhibit. These are things that you experience and share with the world, but you don’t create a scrapbook or a collection of art purely for the approval of others. It’s okay to want others to see your posts; that’s the whole point of social media. However, I think we try too hard to be aesthetically pleasing or super witty. That can be fun, but when not finding the perfect picture or caption prevents you from sharing those special memories at all, you should take a second to think about how much emphasis you’re putting on a virtual representation of your life.
At the end of the day, you’re the one who is going to remember what you’ve posted. I’ll be the first to confess that it’s fun to go on my own profile and scroll back to a random old post, tweet or picture. While I’ve cleaned out my profile, getting rid of several pointless and cringe-worthy pictures or tweets, there are some memorable ones that I just can’t force myself to delete. I find one bad quality photo and a cheesy caption from a mission trip, or a polka-dot bordered birthday post for my best friend’s 16th birthday. Who cares if it got fewer than a hundred likes? That was an awesome mission trip, and my best friend loved that collage.
You’re not going to go look at someone else’s scrapbook to see a picture of the eclipse. You’re going to reference your own life and your own profile because those are your memories. Of course, it’s fun to look at other people’s pictures. You get a different perspective of the same events, a unique style that you otherwise might not have seen or known. I’m tired of people worrying so much about how successful a post will be with their followers that it dictates whether they even post it or not. It’s time to take back your social media profile and make it about you, not your followers.
Written by Maleah Brown