My younger brother (Buboy) said, “My Instagram followers are fluctuating. Some are unfollowing!”; giving me the disapproving look of what’s happening with his account.
His reaction is based on one thing and that led me to this.
One of the basic needs of a human being is ACCEPTANCE. Acceptance is a NEED and not a mere want. In our world, it matters. It matters A LOT! GRAVELY!
There are so many ways that acceptance can be felt. It varies from the littlest act of smiling to blurting out of words of appreciation to the grandest of it all – the feeling of being loved.
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it permeates the top levels to show its grave importance. More important than the food we eat, more important than the clothes we wear or much more than the new gadget we have right now.
In our society, acceptance means the sense of belongingness, a sense of being valued, a sense of being part of the family or the group, a sense of being respected, a sense of being in meaningful connections and relationships and a sense of recognition.
And in this technology based world dominated by the use of social media, the feeling of being accepted is quantified.
The number of friends or likers on Facebook, number of followers, love reactions on Instagram and Twitter, name it! They are all based on the “how many” idea. The more the many-er.
The more IG followers or FB friends, the more you become “accepted” by the society. So the moment of unfollows and unfriending, you get easily devastated.
You question your worth. You doubt your own principles. You suspect your own motives. You cross-examine yourself to know why certain individuals unfollowed or unfriended you. Correct me if I am wrong but these are true.
Little did we know that we victimize ourselves by our own way of thinking!
I was once a victim of this absurdity and stupidity. But don’t get me wrong, I am still in so much gratefulness of those who liked and followed me (and those who will) and I don’t have any grudges against those who unfollowed or unfriended me. These added colors and extra flavors to my day to day life.
So, the good news is that I was saved before I drowned myself in that kind of foolish thinking.
Here are some secrets that unveiled themselves to me and made me swam beyond the surface and the numbers.
REAL ACCEPTANCE must come from yourself first. Cliche but this is generally true. Accept who you truly are. Accept your parading strengths. Accept your perfect weaknesses.
Accept that a person like me and you (we) can never please everybody. Accept that the people who liked you before may not like you now. Accept that your preference is not theirs. Accept that people’s emotions towards you may be momentary.
Look around you.
Your family, you might have forgotten, is there to accept you no matter what. They may not be able to follow you on Instagram or liked your every FB post but they are there without you trying to be who you are not. They love you just as you are without masks. They love you without you trying to impress.
Consider your not-fair-weather friends, who may be distant or may not be physically present every time but remained concerned about the real you, who look after your real growth and not dig up a well out of your silly mistakes.
Remember that you have been accepted by the Sovereign Ruler of the universe even before you were born. That you were set apart even before you earned your hard earned medals and trophies, even before you grow your social media followers, even before you came to your senses that you are one in billion creations.
I wonder if you’ll accept my words or not but I just want you to accept and appreciate yourself. That’s my bottom line.
At the end of our convo, I told him, “never ever put your value on the numbers you have on your social media accounts. You are way far more important than that.”
Bless your heart!