I recently came across the video of an influencer who, through a tearful recording shared that she had just lost her Instagram account where she had over 113,000 followers. In the video, she shares, “I’m nothing without my following.” She goes on to say that she has no skills, no job qualifications, and even worse, that she’s worthless; “I am worthless. I bring nothing to the table. Zero.”
Not only is this heartbreaking, but it’s concerning. Have we grown so attached to who we are on social media, that the thought of losing our following, or not having the “engagement” or validation we hope for, could ultimately “destroy us?” Have we become addicted to our online identity?
According to new research, it’s been said that “Americans check their phone on average once every 12 minutes – burying their heads in their phones 80 times a day.” It’s also been found that “the average person struggles to go little more than 10 minutes without checking their phone.”
I think we might be addicted to our phones and social media. But even more so, I think we might be addicted to our social media identity. We crave the affirmations, the acknowledgments, the acceptance. We long for the attention. We want to belong, and if we’re honest, social media provides us with an identity, an identity that we think we want or need, but in reality, is far from who we really are or who we really want to be.