BY JOSH REMPEL
The culture of Instagram is happy yet deceiving. Despite the positive energy oozing out of every profile, comment section, and story, many people secretly obsess over their Instagram profiles. How could such a seemingly positive platform be a battleground for popularity and self-worth? This is forced positivity.
Personally, since my reluctant download of Instagram back near the end of grade 10, I have found it fascinating to explore the social structure of this ground-breaking app.
Instagram’s Many Intricacies
The first thing that became clear while acquainting myself with Instagram’s culture was the will of others to portray a perfect lifestyle. Whether I was browsing the profiles of my peers, or famous celebrities, everyone’s lives were showcased without flaws.
The next section of Instagram’s culture I noticed were the comment sections. Comments such as “gorgeous,” “you look like a model,” and an overabundance of heart and heart eyes emoji’s flooded the posts of the app. It’s well known that even the most astounding lifestyles have their rough spots, and the most positive people have their off days. Instagram failed to reflect this. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with spreading positivity online, but danger exists when harmless positivity turns into the will to become a character too good to be true.
I Know How it Feels
In my past, I am guilty of forcing positivity too. Despite the fact that I didn’t have Instagram, I found ways to accomplish this through other social media and real life interactions. I remember many occasions where I would force out smiles or jokes to make myself look better. Even if being constantly positive wasn’t the worst way to live, it was fake, far from genuine, and emotionally draining. My entire being was defined by this constant need for positivity.
This completely shielded my real personality.
Why is it that I, and so many others, feel this need to be constantly positive?
- Our society praises a lifestyle full of sunshine, rainbows and lollipops. Just take a look at any famous celebrity’s social media to see this in full effect.
- Being constantly positive is attractive. When it seems as if someone has no problems, it exudes confidence and emotional security.
- Being constantly positive is easy. Exploring the dark side of your emotional spectrum can be challenging and intimidating. Why worry when you can just force out a smile?
What I love most about humanity is that each person is unique in their own way. Despite this amazing fact, too often people let social trends overpower their identity. When everyone forces positivity in the same way, the intricate personalities of humans become hidden. Of course, I can be positive, but I don’t need to be afraid to express and explore the full extent of my personality. This is easier said than done, but I believe if more people were to adopt this mindset, the world would be a better place.