You know how there is that footwear or clothing, so comfortable that you gladly abandon every other piece you have for that particular one. It just fits. It works for running errands just as it works for casual gatherings – a true all-purpose wear. I get a couple of those once or twice every year and I gladly milk its entire value till there is a favourite piece replacement. And now I’m supposed to feel a way about fashion repetition? Over my personal comfort and laziness?
It’s the social media age where perception is being sold measured by unrealistic standards. These standards, albeit not new, were left for those that can be categorised as truly influential – Actors, Musicians, etc. Some of these mundane standards include always being seen as put together, perceived wealthy, photographed in a certain way (never caught unfresh), not repeating outfits and so much more. You just have to be new and different each time you are seen in public or at an event. I mean, it’s showbiz. After those public gatherings, we look out for our ‘celebrities’, properly photographed and presented in magazines – lifestyle, soft sell, whatever kind that ensured we could catch a glimpse of our superstars in the most royal light.
However, with web 2.0. came social media and with social media came a different medium of interaction, birth of a new crop of influencers and media technologies. Keeping up with traditional and new celebrities became easier. In this part of the world, Instagram made it easier. All you need is a smart phone with internet connection to keep up with your favourite celebrities who are ever willing to share a curated part of their life with you. Suddenly, the magazine owners aren’t the only ones trying to solve the constant puzzle of gaining the attention of an audience, the influencers (celebrities) joined the league and with technology that print couldn’t possibly measure up to. Unlike magazines that allowed ‘downtime’ as issues took time to print, social media is always on, and the users are always expecting more and better – pressure!
Today’s post isn’t about the battle for attention but of unrealistic social media pressure we consciously or unconsciously allow ourselves to be influenced by. If you are interesting enough to have a fairly good number of followers, your activities are automatically being checked and monitored by some group of people who expect you to live a certain way – standards they dare not hold themselves to, ironically.
Two weeks ago I shared a video of myself using the reels feature on Instagram. The video was of me portraying my playful side while being excited to have a good meal. If you know me, you know I love food. So my focus was on the food and how I was finally going to use an audio I saved weeks ago. So, I shared my video with excitement and interacted with my friends and followers as they engaged with the content.
The following day, I saw a comment by an Instagram user, one of my followers, which read – “you and this cloth”. I immediately went back to check my feed only to realise that the particular video was the fourth time in the space of five months that I shared a content with the same outfit. Also, this comment came from an Instagram handle I had interacted with (albeit at different capacity based on the work that I do) enough to know that he would not be able to afford the lifestyle or standard he tried to hold me by.
This is not about looking down on anyone as I have lived through different stages of life. I know what it means to have, not have, and have just enough. I understand what growth means. The instagram user may be able to buy a whole boutique in a few years, but this isn’t a few years. So it was pretty much interesting for me to see that the standard which many influencers (nano, micro & macro) or even the celebrities try so hard to meet are being checked by people who could never meet them.
So I define Social media pressure as an unsustainable standard of living placed on people by other people, who cannot attain the same standard – The Art of insta pressure.
I have read studies on the pressure of social media and links to depression. How many try to impress the gram. Building an entirely different world from what their reality can be. It has become so intense that the concept of fake it till you make it, pretty much leads to depression and disappointment for self. (This is probably why i am loving Tiktok but a conversation for another day)
So today I write for my digital content creators and celebrities – please live for you and be authentic. There is a place for packaging, we understand the concept. But there is no law anywhere which states that you cannot wear your clothes more than once nor does any law state that you cannot upload photos from the same outfit in different moons. You bought them, you can wear them.
Save yourself the headache and pressure. Be moderate and live your life. There is a whole world of people out there who would appreciate your originality and honesty.
The greatest form of pressure one can feel is pressure from within. Once you do the work on the inside, you can begin to live a more fulfilled life. People can be messed up – don’t be caught up in the web of mess they create in their heads.
You are not here to meet their unrealistic standards – rather, let your lifestyle inspire them.
Feature Image by Pixabay