Competition is no stranger to the girl community. We have always found something or someone to compete over—whether it’s a love interest or a fashion choice—and competition is inevitable.
However, in the age of technology, social media has claimed its stake in the certain of girl drama. Today, it seems as if every issue created between girls has some connection to social media, adding an additional level of drama to an already controversial problem.
In particular, Instagram has taken over the lives of the girl community, thus spurring a new brand of girl-on-girl rivalry. The kind of competition where girls are judged for that “selfie” they posted, and subsequently the “likes” received on that same photo.
Instagram has cultivated an expectation where the likes received on a photo not only measure popularity, but both create and diminish self-esteem. I have overhead countless conversations either in my lecture halls or occasionally from my own friends, mumbling the words “I didn’t get enough likes on this picture, should I delete it?” A part of me cringes every time I hear these mumblings.
How have we come to this point of using social media as a scale to measure our self worth?
Self-esteem issues continue to escalate as ex-girlfriends search the profile of the latest girl in their ex’s life. She examines her photos, often making comments such as, “She doesn’t get very many likes” (Which translates to: “She must not be very pretty”).
Instagram has infiltrated its way into the everyday lives of most girls. We let the likes we get on our pictures determine our self-worth and our overall confidence. We are envious of other girls who always seem to capture that perfect shot, indicating the highlights of their seemingly flawless life (however, that is almost never the case). We judge others by the amount of photos they post, who are in their pictures, and the amount of followers they have.
We are jealous. We are judgmental. We are competitive. However, we cannot let the negative aspects of our personalities outshine our positive attributes—those that make Instagram an app solely created for the purpose of creative expression.
Next time you scroll through your feed (which will presumably be right after reading this article!), pay attention to your reaction towards certain photos. Do you find yourself being constantly jealous? How often do you criticize a “selfie” taken and posted by someone you follow? Pay attention and try your best. It is integral that every user of instagram realizes that we are all worth more than our accounts.
Behind the dozens of filters, creative captions, and the countless number of “likes,” is a real person.
Using Instagram as a tool of creative expression, where judgment of others is limited, will help eliminate girl on girl competition on all forms of social media. Girls, we are more than what we post, and the sooner every girl “likes” that, the sooner we will all become stronger.