I Don’t Like Me Unless You Do

“X’ghamilt nehhejtu r-ritratt? Jaqaw ma gablekx likes?”

(Translation: “You took down your picture? Didn’t it get enough likes?”)

This is the sad reality us millennials live in.

We simultaneously exist in the real and digital worlds; however, that which happens in the digital realm, seems to matter more to us than what happens in reality. We crave validation in the form of notifications which say “X likes your photo”, however, we cringe at the thought of giving someone a compliment in real life. You know, we wouldn’t want them to think we’re keen on them, or creep them out. But obviously, lurking on their online profiles and double tapping all of their recent posts is acceptable.

We fear the possibility of our posts not getting as many likes as our past ones and we manicure our profiles to look aesthetically pleasing in the hopes of them getting more followers. I swear, we care more about what our social media look like than we do our own looks on an early morning at uni.



Sometimes I think about the time before I was 13 years old before I got my first phone, a trusty old Samsung, with only one ringtone and exciting Sudoku!, which I won’t sh*t talk because it saved me from multiple social interactions I didn’t want to have. I think about the time I didn’t have a Facebook profile, but “MUM EVERYONE HAS ONE”. I wonder how my life would be different if I had actually listened to her rants about how it’s toxic because turns out; it actually is. And unfortunately, now, 6 years later, I regret the fact that I, and so many of my peers, spend hours upon hours scrolling through our feeds, which feed us complete nonsense. I regret the fact that we have become so dependent on a virtual “like” to feel good about ourselves and then, we’re completely oblivious to the likes we get in real life, from real people, in the real world.

This will sound SO cliché, and yet it’s so true, our phones and laptops and the things we use to get to our social media, have become an extension of our bodies. My arm isn’t complete if it isn’t holding my phone (still a better love story than Twilight…lol), and the moment I realise that it’s not in my hand I swear I get a mini heart attack because that b*tch cost me 700, blood, sweat and tears. Let’s be honest, we all spend the time of our lives dedicated to a tertiary education taking bad pictures of our friends (and lecturers), posting them on social media (Snapchat) and hoping for the recognition of our peers (including the ones we have ridiculed).



It’s become a sort of rite of passage that by the age they are 13, or younger, kids are given their first phones. Honestly, I don’t think I’d give my kids a phone when they’re 13 because that’s what my parents did and here I am now complaining about how much I wish I had lived those years when my virtual identity didn’t exist a little longer. Albeit making communication 10 times easier, considering we live a world in which both parents work and kids are often home alone, these devices are introducing young teens to a world of insecurity, pressure and so much fake – which they, unfortunately, won’t be able to let go of, ever.

Now excuse me while I edit this photo I took specifically for my Instagram; because I haven’t posted in a week and I might lose followers.

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Sarah Amato

This one time I was playing Guess Who with a class of foreign beginner students and they asked me to have a turn so I did. I thought I was being witty and to describe Lady Gaga I said "she's crazy!" but one of my students was wittier and with a straight face he said "it's you."

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