Since the advent of social media, millions of us have taken to platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to post thirst traps, news articles, and comment on friends’ posts. With that thrill, however, came a new challenge – the increasing need for online validation. And I am no stranger to those urges. But, I am finally cutting the cord. I stopped living for likes and I’m currently learning to thrive solely on in-person compliments, nods, and all of the other analog forms of personal validation instead.
A few years ago, Instagram was my main source of online comfort. Whether it was pictures of my friends and I drinking, bikini pics, or Insta stories chronicling my life, these posts were my lifeline. I woke up craving the “YAS QUEEN” or “omg stunning” comments. But after posting a #freethenipple photo, I was banned from the platform. And now, I never want to go back.
Now I live for the thrill of in-person validation, and you can too! The secret is simple – if you want compliments from others, all you have to do is briefly berate yourself in a public setting. No need for “felt cute, might delete later” posts – just announce to your girl gang that you have a “potato-like figure and skin that looks like the before picture in a Proactiv commercial.” You’ll be shocked at how many “oh my gosh no, you’re gorgeous” and “your skin is so smooth, you obviously wear sunscreen” compliments you’ll get in return as you sip on that mojito. That’s purer self-esteem than any heart emoji can evoke.
Don’t get me wrong – you have to be as judicious with these tactics as you are with your social media posts. These comments need to be carefully timed and properly curated to receive the right amount of follow-up without getting lost in rapidly changing conversations and ill-attended social events. Yes, life has its own algorithm. Just as with Instagram, you can’t do this too often (lest friends get annoyed and accuse you of fishing for compliments) or too seldom (lest you go into validation withdrawal). You’ll be shocked at how good an in-person “omg no you’re stunning,” will make you feel – you may even quit social media for good!
You don’t need social media as much as you might think – just curate your life and compliment-fishing the same way you curate your Instagram posts, and you’ll get an immediate and equally fleeting dopamine rush from the verbal compliments and reassurances from those around you. Good luck, ladies!