"Like" Yourself First

How often do you look at your social media accounts to check if people have viewed or liked your photo, video, or status? In the hope that we have gained maximum virtual likes, we've become so invested in receiving validation online that we've forgotten what truly makes us happy. We’ve forgotten to love ourselves.

The problem is we seek instant gratification. We forget to actually live in the moment and to enjoy the time of now; we forget to focus on what is happening around us and how we feel at this very moment. We've traded love for likes. We now live a in a world where the value of “love” is being washed out and put on anything you can buy or like. Likes don’t make us cool, it just means we have good photo skills.

Living in the moment seems a thing of the past, as we are so concerned with taking that perfect shot. We have become so consumed in racking up the number of likes that we have actually given a new meaning to the term "being liked." It has become our gateway to social acceptance, where we seek approval from strangers online. Sometimes, we may even feel like we’re not living up to our own potential because we’re comparing ourselves to others’ ‘fabulous lives’ online, wishing our own lives would be a little more picture-perfect.

Recently, an Australian teenager confessed that her "perfect life" was actually making her miserable. With sponsorship opportunities, a celebrity status and modelling offers, Essena O'Neil thought she had it all because of the attention she had received onlineThe truth was, she spent most her hours trying to get a good shot, comparing herself to others, and jumping on the bandwagon of ‘the next best thing’. “I was severely addicted. I believed how many likes and followers I had correlated to how many people liked me. I didn’t even see it happening, but social media had become my sole identity. I didn’t even know what I was without it.” After years of engaging with unhealthy eating habits, edited and staged scenarios just to take the perfect photo, O'Niel realized that she doesn't need social approval to be happy and is continuing to share her story while encouraging others to be present and live authentically.

Valentine's Day makes February the month of love and loving yourself should come before anyone or anything else. If you start from within you will be able to spread that love to each and every person you come across. Perfection is unhealthy, unrealistic and, honestly, boring. Picture-perfect posts are programmed to make us feel that we should all strive to be perfect and that message in itself is wrong. We should never strive to be anyone but ourselves and the only way to seek happiness is from within. Let’s stop living for the ‘outside’ and start living for what makes us truly happy ‘inside’. 

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