Validation. At some point in our lives, we seek it. Validation has taken an interesting approach, particularly when it comes to trends and social media. All the fun things that people claim to avoid.

If everyone is doing it, why shouldn’t I? This really pushes the whole, do you want to be a follower your entire life? A lot of people are pressured into doing what other people are doing because it is a way to gain acceptance. Whether that means thrifting, dressing like your from the 90’s, or spelling “perff” instead of “perfect” in all your texts. People often don’t want to fall behind the rest of their peers and that transform into a meltdown- typically involving a teen telling their parents that they hate them simply because they won’t buy them the latest whatever. It’s fine to dress like your from the 90’s, but it’s not okay to live like you live in the 90’s. Please, upgrade your phone! Trends come and go, but the fact they you were still willing to follow them doesn’t.

Validation is also seen in social media. From the amount of likes, retweets, and follows, people get consumed by being accepted online. Their day can actually be ruined because they didn’t get as many likes as they thought they would.  Often times, people do things for social media. They set-up a nice photo shoot for Instagram, they spend time trying to come up with the wittiest captions, they travel and take photos to post about where they are, they hang out with a bunch of people to show they have friends. They do all of these things to showcase their lives online. This ISN’T a bad thing. It is only bad when someone feels the need to do all of these things and share them. You may have even heard people say “Do it for the GRAM.” How about, do it for yourself. People can feed their ego or let it be questioned via social media. And trends can play into this as well. Take for instance witty commentary. If you don’t have a funny caption, then, it is just a photo, nothing more. People have a field day with their captions because everyone puts witty commentary. How can you not?

On a recent trip, someone let me know that they admired how I do my own thing and don’t follow what everyone else is doing. Why? Because, I’m not a follower. I have my own interests, my own way of doing things, my own way of perceiving the world, and I don’t get influenced by what is popular or “in.” I mean, how many people have succulents, mandalas, and clothes from the thrift store? A lot. I like to do my own thing and honestly think that books such as “The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F” by Mark Manson and experiences such as bungee jumping in Costa Rica helped reinforce staying authentic and true to myself. Does reading books on your free time seem cool? Maybe not. But, because it’s not “cool” doesn’t mean I am going to stop doing it as a pastime.

Who you seek validation from is also important. Some people will often alter their words and actions to impress others. They stop being who they are, even if momentarily, to gain acceptance. Which leads to comments such as, “This is not like you.” If you realize that you start doing this, stop.

I think you have accept yourself more often than not. This helps you stay authentic. Just because everyone does it, doesn’t mean you should too.

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