What people use social media for? To show the life to others that they want them to think they have. Fancy places, fancy food, beautiful people, endless money. This become the standard. We accept that this is how it should be. Most of the people want to fit in. This is human nature. We want to feel safe, welcomed, accepted, admired, loved, and we act as it is “expected”. To fit in, people have to start to consume the same things, and consume more.
Currently I am reading a book: The Green Marketing Manifesto by John Grant, and he describes it properly: (by the way I love the book, I can only recommend)
“The ‘frenzy’ of consumerism and its wasteful excess is due to a doomed attempt to achieve status.”
“We waste to prove that we are not poor”
And this is true as it is, although I would add some more: We waste to prove that we are better than others, that we are a part of the society, or that we have power.
Simply put: people want what they see in social media.
Unfortunately the most visible are the celebrities with fake lips, (or other fake body parts) with different boyfriend every week, with designer clothes, with tons of makeup, with no added value to the society. Teenage girls and boys, at their most vulnerable period of personal development, consider these people as role models.
Social Medial affected consumerism not only by communicating these false images but also by allowing 24\7 communication between company and consumer (reviews) or consumer and consumer (recommendation) excessive advertising and promotion.
The conclusion is that the more time we spent with checking our social media feed the more pressure we feel to live up to the “expectations”: CONSUME MORE TO BE COOL.
I think the basic problem is that we lost our self-esteem, and self-consciousness, and now need the approval of people who we don’t even know.
I know exactly how it is. Let me tell you a short story: I started a fashion blog because I wanted to be like the other fashion bloggers; fancy, go to events and fashion shows and get free stuff. But along the way I realized that “I want to be like others” is not an option. To live a happy and fulfilling life the first thing is to accept myself, set my own goals and fight my own battles. Until I want to live in someone else’s life, I cannot be successful. I cannot fight for other’s dream as hard as for mines.
I started to buy new clothes to shoot for every new post. I was influenced by their perfect life, I wanted to be a part of their community. But I failed (thanks God). And do you know why? Because that was not me. That was a lost girl, who was looking for her identity. Lacking of my own dream, I stole others. And I did not have the motivation to fight, to struggle, to work for that.
Since then, a lot happened. Today, I accept that I am not a fashionista, I am not a stylist, and I am never going to work for Vogue. And I don’t want any more. Because today, I have my own dreams, my own style, I am aware who I am, and I am proud. Even if I cannot fit in the mass.
Therefore my message is:
Do not let the fake social media images influence who you are. Please don’t go to Starbucks because you have seen a lot of cool picture on Instagram, or shop continuously new staff, because bloggers feature them. Before you consume, think about the consequences, and the impact you have on the environment.