Don’t do it for the ‘likes’

Facebook is probably one of the most innovative inventions of our time.

Along with its emergence as an everyday aspect of Internet activity came the growth of other social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, and whether or not you use these tools at all, you’d almost have to be living under a rock (with no Wi-Fi) to not have heard about them on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, in today’s society, there is an increasingly fine line when it comes to sharing thoughts, photos and accomplishments.

What begins as a genuine attempt to stay in touch with friends on Facebook or share news on Twitter can become a dependence on virtual popularity with overconsumption.

Nowadays, more people seem to be on their phones than off them, filling any and all free time by scrolling through a news feed or a timeline.

When they’re not posting a status or absorbing the gossip of their online network, they’re overanalyzing their photos with experimental edits and filters.

There are certainly benefits to social media.

Much of today’s news can first be found on Twitter.

And long-distance friends and family can see what you’re up to thanks to Facebook and Instagram.

The problem arises when you consume so much media that it essentially becomes your reality.

No longer are vacation spots meant for relaxation; now they’re simply backdrops for a photo you’ll take down if it doesn’t get more than 10 “likes.”

Relationship updates? Personal feelings?

It’s all fair game if you let social media become the go-to forum for venting and bragging about your life.

This isn’t a call to outright ignore social media.

In fact, doing that would be borderline silly considering the magnitude it has in society.

Rather, this is a suggestion for the sake of actually experiencing things in the world around you.

Embrace the positives that come with social media, which can truly help shape the path you take in just about any aspect of life, but don’t rely it on so much that your identity is crafted around a virtual acceptance – a reality that is one “low battery” warning away from faltering.