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Monday, March 13, 2017 Newport, NJ

Social Media Pet Peeves

This post is something that I've been wanting to write for a while. After watching Black Mirror's Season 3 - Episode 1, I definitely think it's important to write this post. Now, let me start off by saying how thankful I am for the platform that social media has given me. It's given me the chance to express myself, share my life with so many people all over the world, etc. But with anything in life, there are bound to be some negative things that just go along with it.

I remember downloading the app when I got my very first iPhone, the 4S, in 2011. It wasn't long after that I would find myself posting daily. From the early days of Instagram filters and Bokeh Apps, it's been incredible seeing how this platform has evolved. It's become this world of creatives and inspiring people and I am so thankful that I'm able to do what I do. I could go on and on about why I love social media so much, the opportunities it gives people, windows to every day life of those around the world, but that's not what this post is about.

If you haven't seen Black Mirror's episode called "Nosedive," I highly recommend checking it out. It's about this woman being so obsessed with her ranking or "score" on social media, that she was willing to do anything and everything to get that validation from others. Her obsession with how she appeared to other people consumed her. What I took away from this episode is that you cannot make yourself a prisoner to social media. Trying too hard and acting desperately on social media is not going to get you anywhere and your numbers don't result in happiness. It's also obvious to others if you're trying way too hard. The episode definitely has a deeper message. Living in a world that is so focused on social media, we shouldn't allow it to be the only thing we live for.

It's important to find a balance. Yes, social media is a big part of my life, but it's not everything. I love spending time with my boyfriend, my family, my friends. I love the opportunity to travel, try new things, go on adventures with people whose company I genuinely enjoy. When my wi-fi at home doesn't work, it's actually nice to get a little break from it all. I'll admit, it's easy to get caught up in everything, your likes, followers, etc. I realized that the less attention I paid to the numbers, the happier I was.

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I've got my fair share of pet-peeves from the social media world. There are times when it can just feel so saturated, fake, forced, etc. I hate seeing it become this sort of numbers game for people rather than a place for creativity, sharing ideas, thoughts, experiences, etc. Not to mention feeling like people only pretend to like you or are interested in you because they want something from you in return. Since I started blogging, I've gotten spam comments/messages from people about buying followers/likes, asking me to join comment support groups, or paying to join loop giveaways. These things are just not for me. It's not what I want my content to be about and it's not something I want to participate in.

When I began to gain a following, I created my blog, Styled & Smitten. I promised myself one thing: that I would keep it real. If I were to truly consider myself a content creator/influencer, I couldn't do that with a following that was paid for, comments from people that only did it because they're looking to get comments back, or gain followers from a loop giveaway that asks people to follow 30-40+ accounts that they're not even truly inspired by. I want to know that my growth is because of the work that I'm doing on my own, that it's because more people see the content I put out there and want to continue to see it.

The motivation that I have to create content is driven by the people that love my work on their own, not because they were forced to or paid to do so. It's nice to wake up everyday knowing that these people are here because they love my work, are inspired by my posts, can relate to me, and most importantly, trust me. After doing this for so long, it's an incredible feeling hearing from people that they've watched you grow, have been a follower for years, etc. When people ask me for advice about starting a blog or getting into blogging, I always say: "Stay true to yourself, be consistent, and be patient." Things don't happen overnight. You have to believe in yourself before you expect anyone else to believe in you.

Social media is definitely a huge part of our lives, especially as millennials. We grew up with technology and we've seen the immense change between dial-up internet days and just easily accessing it on our phones within seconds. Whatever role social media plays in your life, it's important to make sure it doesn't control your life. If you need to detox and take a break for a little bit each day, do it.

Do you have any pet peeves on social media? Share your thoughts with me.

Bleach Band Tee | Aritzia Cardigan | Quay Sunglasses | Mott & Bow Jeans | Givenchy Bag
Zara Boots | Urban Outfitters Hat
Captured by: Nkenge B.

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