Natalie Rohman

A Chicago Girl Paving Inspiration

Why You Will Survive Without Followers

Living in the midst of the digital age has its ups and downs. We get to be with people and connected almost immediately at the touch of our buttons. You can say hello to literally anybody. Find out any information you want and—you've heard it all before.  

About a week ago, I woke up to a very inconvenient misfortune that a lot of people are dealing with or have dealt with right now—being hacked. 

Hacked.

Now I may sound a bit dramatic, but it's been awhile since my personal accounts have been compromised. I know I was hacked because a common trend among these hackers are when they are  hacking people's Instagram accounts and changing the emails and some profiles, luckily mine was not. So that was a fun thing to wake up to. 

I've gone through all the emailing and trying to contact Instagram, and I'm sure they're aware that this is happening to a majority of users, but it seems like they just don't care unless you're a verified public figure or influenser. So my schedule has been a bit crazy dealing with moving back into school and this is the last thing I wanted to deal with. Which, I feel like is understandable. 

I have now since made a new Instagram @natrohman, not @natalierohman, because I have no access to my other account. I went through the two-factor verification process to ensure my account stays secure and I wish I could have known about that before it all happened. 

Now I have a blank account and am starting from scratch. Zero followers and all. However, since this all went down, I have not once felt the desire or urge to get back into Instagram. I've honestly enjoyed this break from it and not worrying about who has posted what. I'd say my presence on social media is very regular and going into college without that has made things a bit more free flowing. I'm not worried about who's where or doing what. Not saying I won't be on it anymore, but it has been second nature for me to be on my phone all the time. 
I have talked to some of my friends about the issue and ranted to them about losing all my "followers" and worrying about a hacker posting random things on my profile, but I've realized that it all doesn't matter.

Cue Gushiness

No matter the followers or likes you have, you cannot be defined by something as superficial as a number on your profile, salary number, price tag, scale number, or any other number. At the end of the day, I still have those relationships with people that are the most important in my life. Instagram isn't going to leave. People are going to be on it all the time and they probably won't miss me. There are so many other interesting people on Instagram (hate to break it to you).

Ten years from now, my Instagram followers won't effect the person I want to become and the things I want to do. People my age get so caught up in developing a following and creating an "image" for themselves—for other people to perceive them as.

We curate ourselves to be our best selves online.

I don't know if this hacking was really a bad thing. Besides the fact that my personal information was taken away from me, it was time for me to realize that there is so much more to life than living behind filters and screens. The moments I experience and memories I create don't always have to be shared to everybody because those are special to me. 

I don't want this post to resonate badly in regards to my views of using social media or others using it, but I also want it to be a post where you can reflect on your own usage or over usage of it. Does being on social media sites really spark joy in your life? How much do you depend on it? Does validation from your peers make you a better person or is it valued to you more introspectively?

I know I don't get many views on my blog, but that doesn't justify the work and effort I put into it. I do it for myself, as well. I try to be a better writer, content creator, and a story teller every day. However, counting our likes and followers can sway our views of ourselves and make us compare our worthiness to other people. To me, that sounds like digging yourself into a deep, dark hole. If there's anything I want you to really take away from this it is that you cannot allow others to define who you are or what you want to become.

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