Friday 30, Oct 2020, Delhi (India)
“A life built absolutely on getting ‘likes’ can be of no good.”
With the advent of digitalization, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter offered a freeway for the public to express their thoughts and feelings about things they encounter in life. Gradually, the youth became handy to these social media platforms and widened the culture of keeping up with the latest fashion trends, memes, challenges, and whatnot. Some of these challenges of the fashion industry in India are fun; recreating a celebrity look while others can be extremely meaningless. There won’t be any wrong in saying that peer pressure and memes have allowed such social challenges to disseminating quickly through social media channels. Now and then, I see famous social media influencers like “Lilly Singh” or numerous fashion stylists in India coming upfront on Instagram announcing that they’re taking a “social media detox.” The fashion industry in India or across the world is continuously evolving, and this constant rush of keeping up with the new content or the idea of creating new content can be extremely toxic on social media. Not everyone is willing to take time off of social media, but as one falls into too many late-night Instagram whirlwind or stresses about lack of likes, more and more people are starting to understand the concept of social media detox. In this blog, I Knock Fashion looks forward to giving you a brief about how social media is turning toxic for the fashion people as well as the rest of the world.
The advent of the digital world led to numerous opportunities for the world, no matter where on the globe you are, you can influence people from all across the universe. Like the coin has its two sides in the same way every innovation and technology does, although digitization has created several employment opportunities in the country, for the fashion industry in India it has severely increased the competition. Influencers today are reviewing and photographing each item with winning simplicity. It’s not just about giving reviews on a product, but they also have the pressure of pursuing it in a way that their photo style is imitated and virals all over the digital world. There’s this constant thirst for getting the most likes and followers on their social media accounts. There’s a thin line between staying fit and starving yourself for that hourglass body, and in this blind hunger of completing many Instagram #challenge fashion and beauty influencers end up taking numerous pills which later cause them depression and anxiety.
In the past few years, numerous influencers from the fashion industry in India have backed off from social media claiming ‘it’s not real life’! It’s not true that the fashion industry in India has witnessed someone go through an emotional breakdown for the first time, it’s been happening since the advent of social media. Looking at young, privileged digital influencers and fashion stylists in India, identifying with the symptoms of anxiety and depression has raised the question in the country that can social media devastatingly harm mental health?
On social media anxiety, the leading psychologist stated, that this constant thought of getting most likes have transformed influencers to become self-obsessed, they are always finding ways to become the most famous on the social media platforms. This blind hunger for followers, is unavoidable among the fashion influencers and fashion stylists in India, especially with young people who don’t have a clear sense of identity.
Social media has developed a virtual culture in which, from fashion stylists in India, models to influencers; have all created a surreal world. This is further leading to fading away from their characteristics, pressurizing them to adopt and adapt features of idolized and famous personalities on social media.
Being a fashion influencer or fashion stylist in India, it doesn’t take long before they start feeling pressured to get most likes. Although social media has made branding and marketing easier for the fashion world, it also creates problems when used to determine self-worth. These social media platforms are fun to explore, you post a picture on it, within minutes you are discovered by new people. As soon as influencers, fashion models, and fashion stylists in India discovered these social media platforms they started documenting every moment of their life online as if to prove they existed.
It was soon that an application which was created to express yourself to friends and family or network with new people became something that influencers, models, and fashion stylist in India used to measure their self-worth. It creates a kind of obsession in people’s minds, instead of living in the moment they are posting every day, sometimes multiple times in a day, and then judge themselves based on how many people “liked” it, the craving and desire for getting likes and views expanses to such limits that the influencers easily spend money on buying fake followers and likes. The young influencers, models, and fashion stylists in India look for attention from people on social media instead of focusing on their real connections.
In no time, these influencers, models, and fashion stylists in India become “Instagram Addicts”! They start developing this obsession to major in communication in a fashion that focuses mostly on digital media. The young influencers even indulge themselves in conducting these social media polls, Q/A and quizzes, to stay connected with their followers. Through social media there are connections are built, collaborations take place, and then obsession over clicking unique photographs and out of the box content for social media starts. Thus, social media ends up becoming their whole life.
If one does not use social media responsibly, it can distract one from major hobbies, relationships, and life. It all starts with the added involvement on Instagram or other social media platforms giving pressure for likes and acceptance of higher importance. Spending way too much time and energy focusing on how many people liked your pictures to determine if you are worthy or not is a sign of self-doubt which further leads to anxiety. The fashion models, influencers, and fashion stylists in India need to reach a point where they are comfortable enough with themselves and not search for affirmation and acceptance online.
It won’t be wrong to say that this thirst of likes is not just limited to the fashion world people, young people naturally feels pressurized to fit in and be well-liked by their peers and classmates, and social media intensifies that. It develops this thought in your mind where this single button makes you feel happy or sad, it shows you exactly how many people are interested in you and what you’re doing. The less likes a picture gets, the worse they feel about themselves.
Social media can leave you with a stomach full of envy and self-doubt that affects your self-esteem and sense of stability. A study examined how aspirational posts affect social media users. It’s not only affecting the influencers but also the viewers, as the profiles of fictional people who post-life highlights receive numerous likes and comments, and for a viewer who’s spending his day scrolling through others’ vacation pictures, this can be toxic and depressing. The people who will watch these highlight-heavy profiles will be left feeling worse behind, and on the Internet, it’s the actual FOMO(feeling of missing out) that hurts people. This social comparison can affect us in ways we don’t even realize and for longer than we realize, it can create a sense of strong jealousy among teenagers. The influencers showcasing their skills in communication in fashion is acceptable and good but the digital depiction of leisure, luxury, fitness, and travel can make their followers feel inferior.
All of us are aware of the fact that being a social media influencer comes with a constant bombardment of feedback, both positive and ruthlessly negative. The type of comments one receives is brutal and it takes a lot of courage for a person to be able to weather that sort of environment. Today the internet is accessed by every other person and not everyone is socially responsible, people make nasty comments, and this makes it even more crystal clear why social media is not a safe place for everybody, but some end up dealing with the negativity by adopting a real tough shell. The influencers need to protect themselves emotionally, and they can do so by setting clear boundaries about what they are and aren’t willing to talk about with their followers, you don’t have to always share everything, if you’re a fashion influencer you can just pursue communication in fashion, and so for beauty.
A fashion influencer once stated that creating content for her blog took over life, she was in this loop of buying and returning clothes to photograph herself in when she went out to eat, she won’t look out for a place with the best food instead preferred a photogenic restaurant. Suddenly she realized that every aspect of her life had a commercial purpose.
This story is something to take a note Is The Fashion World Disillusioned With Social Media?
from, this depicts how social media can lead to a profound effect on your mental well-being. It creates a lot of isolation, jealousy, loneliness, selfishness, and anxiety. It’s time that we accept it’s all filters in there, social media is nothing but a display of your best life. The ‘woke up like this’, is not so true, and it’s time we embrace our natural beauty instead of constantly negatively comparing ourselves to others.
For further fashion and beauty, related updates stay tuned with I Knock Fashion.