Social media has put an immense amount of pressure on young people when it comes to dating. It seems like every time we log onto Instagram or Facebook, someone we went to high school with is engaged, already married or starting a family.
Then there’s people like you and me who are single and either feeling relieved that we’re not in that situation, or feeling envious and alone. When we post on social media, we often only show the best moments of our lives, or the lives that we want our followers to believe we’re living. But when someone who is single sees a friend in a happy and loving relationship that can only be confirmed through hashtags and emojis, that’s not what they’re thinking about. They’re thinking about how single they are, and how they wish that would change.
It’s okay to be single, even if everyone you’re following is not.
We live in a world where validation comes from likes on Instagram and how many followers you have. The more interesting your life appears through the lens of your followers, the more likes you receive. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all strive for attention and validation online.
We want our friends to like our pictures, and for strangers to think we’re cool. In order to receive the attention we’re all subconsciously striving for, oversharing tends to take place. With this being the case for people our age and younger, we are usually exposed to couples who are seemingly living better lives than we do, or at least we think they are because we’re single and they’re not.
While we sit back and watch as our friends and acquaintances give us unwarranted updates on their love lives, we must remember that being single does not make our own lives, or our Instagram feeds, any less valid. Being in college, or just being young in general, is all about finding yourself and experiencing life for the first time. Some may choose to do so alone, while others choose to bring a significant other along for the ride.
For the people choosing to walk alone, there is nothing wrong with doing just that, no matter what your Instagram might say. There is absolutely nothing wrong with spending some quality time with yourself. You don’t have to be part of a couple to feel fulfilled, both personally and online.
Social media continues to put pressure on the younger generation to find love, and to show our followers that we’ve found it. It’s time to stop letting social media determine when we should be in love. Instead, we should be living our lives as single as we want to be.
Anthony Belinfante The George-Anne News Reporter, email@example.com