I was fortunate to grow up and be a youth before social media really became major. Sure, MySpace was the cool thing to do when I was in high school, but even still, not everyone had it, it certainly wasn’t on anyone’s cell phones, and the drama of picking your top 8 was nothing compared to the drama with the zillion different social media platforms that those darn kids have now. And the pressure one felt back then to craft the perfect away message on AOL Instant Messenger pales in comparison to the pressure to post the perfectly FaceTuned selfie on Instagram showing everyone, especially the cute boy in biology, how hot and fabulous you are.
As if teenage girls need any more reason to feel insecure—or more opportunities to be catty little shits and torture each other—now with the proliferation of various social media profiles, there has been a documented increase in depression, self-harm, and suicide among the younger set, most notably the girls. Boys of course can go out on the playground, throw a few punches, and be done with whatever their BS is. But girls, as miniature women biologically more inclined to be emotional, sensitive, and affected by this kind of social stuff, are obviously going to have a harder time dealing with the nonsense.
The minimalist understanding of Gemini as a sign is thoughts, information-gathering, communication, and friendship. So that’s why, of course, these topics are not only currently zip-zapping around in my mind at the speed of Mercury, but that I’m posting them in a blog.
What is the point of this social media thing, where we all share our thoughts to both interested and non-interested parties, and is it real?
My anti-establishment Aquarian ass says that f*ck no it’s not real, it’s stupid! All of it is stupid, I tell you! Resist! Resist!!
But all right, I’ll take a more democratic and tolerant approach in my reasoning instead of shouting and then stubbornly sitting down in an intellectual huff.
The nature of social media is to connect with other people. The nature of people is that they care what other people think, even the ones who claim they don’t. People get on Instagram and post a highlight reel with the most photo-worthy parts of their lives. The “lifestyle influencer” is perhaps trying to impress with how awesome they are by showing off their perfectly décor-ed and sunlit kitchen with a Hello Fresh box on the counter (#sponsored). Someone else might be trying to impress with how friendly and “relatable” they are (as a pregnant lady, I can cite specifically the admittedly unflattering postpartum mirror selfies from the mommy accounts with the long, poetic captions about the realness of childbirth and mesh underwear).
Social media is where people can intentionally curate the version of their life that the rest of the world sees, be that picture perfectness, quirky gal pal, or artistic genius. Images are meticulously selected, edited, and ran through the perfect filter in order to create an overall cohesion on the feed. Some people have their images pre-scheduled weeks out in order to create the perfect flow that randoms on the internet can’t help but follow and like.
On what planet is this routine anything like real life? Real life comes with unexpected disasters, problems in relationships, and living rooms that are just plain messy, not sweetly and photo-worthy disheveled. There is no filter in real life. Our minds and feelings are not edited captions. We’re all flying by the seat of our pants and can’t pre-plan everything ahead of time.
Some people derive more value from social media than others. For some, it’s the best way for them to connect with friends and family by sharing bits and pieces of their lives. For others, it just makes them happy to scroll through their feed and see pictures of puppies and babies. Further still, some women might have the financial means to buy all the cute outfits at the Nordstrom sale that the “fashion influencers” are wearing (#nsale). Come on, you don’t think I can completely resist being snarky, do you?
The social aspect of social media is a total Gemini thing, but the illusion of social media is Pisces and Neptune. This week as our Gemini Sun squares Neptune in Pisces, we might all be wondering: How do we bring together both the social and the media? How can we take advantage of technology and connect with other humans that we crave connection with while not letting that real human connection be completely obfuscated by fake-ass imagery? The nature of a square in astrology is energy being directed in two different directions at a 90° angle, and it’s up to us to figure out how to bring it all together. We have to find a way to bring images and human connection together.
We can start by taking the curation into our own hands. We can be selective about the images that we look at and how we allow those images to affect our real human thoughts and emotions. There’s no reason to follow accounts that make us feel inadequate or like our lives suck because they’re not as pretty as that account (reminder: that person’s actual life isn’t even as pretty as their account). There’s no reason to follow accounts that you don’t feel add value to your life in some way, be that intellectually, spiritually, or just a needed dose of humor (I’m looking at you, meme accounts).
When it comes to your own social media presence, ask yourself if you want to post something because it’s valuable and is the right thing to say or because you are only trying to get a follow or a like. Do you genuinely want to add light to someone’s day or are you thinking about your own account analytics?
Can we bring more reality into our virtual reality? I think so, so let’s try it. #blessed