Why You Must Live in the Moment

        Whether you're recording Snapchat videos at a concert or waiting to eat your meal so you can take a picture, social media has a strong influence on our society today. We love to share our lives and capture the memories we make, but it can become a problem when we obsess over people’s perception of us. Just think about how much time we spend trying to convince other people (who we probably don’t care that much about anyways) that our lives are interesting.

We’re pressured to always be picture perfect   

       We must constantly be going on some adventure to share our experience with the rest of the world, because “Pics or it didn’t happen”, right? (wrong) I’m pretty sure no one actually goes hiking with a full face of makeup on or comfortably wears wedged heels to beach. When did our lives on social media become more important than the one in the real world?

       I know I’m guilty of living this fake “perfect” life. Throughout high school, I lived my life for social media. I used to go to so many popular and exciting places, like museums and beaches. Instead of enjoying the moment I was in, I was focused on making it look like I had a good time so others would think my life was interesting.

       I’d be too busy picking the right VSCO filter for my beach photo instead of watching the waves roll beneath the pier. It wasn’t until I took a step back from my social media obsession and realized that I wasn’t truly happy. I’d leave my random adventures unsatisfied because I had spent my whole time focused on my phone instead of the environment I was in. I thought that the better the photo was, the cooler I’d look, and the more people would like me, but now I don’t want to be liked for someone I’m not. When I look back at those memories I feel a little ashamed for allowing a social concept have such a big impact on me.

Here are some evidence of my social media adventures. Don't ask me what I'm looking at, I honestly have no idea.

 

 
Taken at a Japanese garden that I went to strictly for the pictures

Taken at a Japanese garden that I went to strictly for the pictures

Taken at Sunken City in Palos Verdes, there's no way I'd voluntarily sit on the edge of a cliff if I wasn't trying to take the picture

Taken at Sunken City in Palos Verdes, there's no way I'd voluntarily sit on the edge of a cliff if I wasn't trying to take the picture

 

Don’t get me wrong...

       I mean who doesn’t love the clean aesthetic of a good filter or the pride you feel when the comments pile up under a picture you took. But it becomes a problem when you put more importance on looking like you have a good life instead actually living your life. It doesn’t make you fake if you post nice pictures from a fun trip, everyone wants to share their happy moments! It’s when you pretend that causes the problems and can lead to an unfulfilling life.

       Take good pictures and have a good time, but don’t forget to put your phone away and truly enjoy the places you’re in. Enjoy your concert and devour your foods as soon as it gets to the table! People will still like you even if they don’t know what you had for dinner.

       I still love taking and editing the photos, and I’m proud of my Instagram feed (not gonna lie), but now I make a conscious effort to put my phone away and make my real life amazing for myself and not just on the screen. In this day and age, social media’s influence isn’t going anywhere, but find the balance to live your life and live for yourself, not for the likes.