Back when I was in eighth grade, way back before high school’s scolding iron had branded me with pessimism, every third Instagram post was a picture of Stich or Bart Simpson, with three bold letters painted across: TBH.
TBH, or To Be Honest, was a sort of game that everyone played to boost their self esteem. A user would post the picture, with the caption, “Like for a tbh,” and when another user would like it, the person who posted it would either comment on their picture or DM (direct message) them.
The idea was that they would give their unfiltered opinion on the person, but of course, this was never the case. It was just everyone petting each other’s ego, and that’s why it was so successful (in that it was common practice for years). If people were actually honest, fights would break out, friendships would be ruined, and the self image of these fragile youth would be significantly damaged. In our society, people aren’t completely honest, and that’s fine. But why seek this shallow, fake sentiment?
Because middle-schoolers are just that desperate for validation. Everyone knew how dishonest these compliments were, but it didn’t matter. Social media takes advantage of child insecurity, and instead of learning how to love themselves, they become addicted to other people’s opinions of them.
This mentality isn’t beneficial in the long term. If you ever find yourself alone, like when you go off to college, or move, or start a new job, you will need to rely on your own self worth, because no one will babysit your confidence.
By the way, I am no exception. I’ve had to consciously grow out of the TBH mentality, and it has taken time. No one is thinking about all this when they make these innocuous posts, but it does have an effect on your mental health. So stop posting TBHs, and start loving yourself for you.
And don’t get me started on rates.