Serin grinned as she set up her shiny new phone, it wasn’t the flagship model, but waaaaay better than her brothers’ hand-me-downs she’d always endured. Finally, she had the real deal. This sleek device held the promise of a whole new world where she could connect, share, and be seen! She quickly downloaded Instagram and crafted her very first post. It was time for the world to meet the true Serin.
Authenticity was the name of the game. Unfiltered and real, Serin took a picture. Smiling innocently and in her usual quirky fashion. Underneath, she poured her heart out, sharing her genuine thoughts and experiences with everyone. She held nothing back, hoping to connect with others who resonated with her authenticity. It was time for the world to truly meet her.
With a mix of excitement and nervousness, Serin hit the post button and eagerly awaited the response. But as minutes turned into hours, she hit refresh again and again. No likes, no comments, no engagement. What had gone wrong? She had been true to herself, vulnerable, and genuine. So why did it feel like no one cared?
Did she lack the wit, charm, or perfectly filtered images that so many others seemed to possess? Self-confidence wavered as she questioned her worth.
But Serin wasn’t one to give up easily. ‘More posts mean more chances!‘ she told herself, sending another fragile message into the social void. This time with a thrift store find jacket she’d adapted herself. Still nothing.
Just when Serin’s spirits were at their lowest, she turned to her friends, seeking solace and understanding. But instead of empathy, they began teasing her, calling her the ‘hit refresh girl‘ and ‘noinfluencer‘. Their words pierced through her fragile armour, heightening her feelings of insecurity and isolation.
It was in those moments of despair that Serin’s mental health took a deep dive
She felt invisible, unworthy of attention, and trapped in a cycle of comparison. The digital world that once held so much promise now seemed like a cruel illusion.
As she lay in bed scrolling through her feed, Serin glimpsed the seemingly perfect lives and flawless faces. Comparisons took hold again, making her yearn for that level of beauty, popularity, and attention.
Just as she hovered above the post button, contemplating a beauty filter that made her look more anime than human, she heard a familiar voice — a voice from the past. It was her Nana, who had passed away years ago. Nana’s words resonated in Serin’s mind, reminding her of what truly mattered.
‘Let me spill some truth tea for you, Serin,‘ Nana’s voice echoed. ‘Real beauty is about embracing your unique quirks, spreading kindness, and making memories that make your heart dance. So, stop being a dickhead and make me a sandwich.‘
Serin burst into laughter, feeling a spark of clarity and relief within her. Nana was right. Trying to seek validation and measure her worth based on the superficial numbers of likes and followers on social media would only leave Serin feeling empty inside.
With newfound resolve, Serin held her phone again. She uninstalled the app, severing herself from the never-ending feed of fakes. From that day forward, she would only seek fulfilment in the richness of her own life, nurturing her passions, cultivating genuine connections offline, and embracing the beauty of imperfect, unfiltered moments that made her truly unique!
A new notification chimed.
‘You have been invited to Threads by @sara_moonpony — Accept?’
Featured image: Paulina Tankiletvitch / Pexels