- Our automatic reaction of monitoring the number of likes accumulated once we have our photo posted on Facebook, and our feeling of dismay when the reach we're hoping for seems to fold out an improbable hundred-to-one ratio.
- The "need" to socialize with elite groups of people, so to speak, or rather to have a big group of friends. The "need" to be a part of the in crowd.
- The gush of embarrassment we tend to be filled with as we get acquainted with people modeling their latest iPhones with hands held high while our scratched, hand me down iPhone 5's flatly stay tucked in hiding between our left hand and the right.
- The drive to work out every morning for 3 months for the sole reason, although never admitted upfront, of rocking a totally fit body perfect for Facebook profile pictures, Instagram picturesque sunset photos, and Snapchat stories, come summertime.
- When hesitation overwhelms our entirety in the setting of raising our hands consequential to answering the teacher's question, in fear of making a mistake and getting subtly ridiculed by classmates in form either of pity eyes or aggressive rebuttals.
- When we think somebody's smarter, more beautiful, more capable, and generally better than us -- this comes in forms of higher grades, more Facebook likes, better opportunities, stronger family ties, closer-knit friends, and overall generally having a seemingly better life.
- The existing, and among other things, an unspoken rule of thumb to make it a point never to wear the exact same outfit twice, or at the very least, the same piece of clothing within a two-month span twice.
- What was once executed out of mere familiarity and imitation, as habitual as it was expected, turned into so much so a necessity inasmuch as a lifestyle: never leaving home without a full face of fresh makeup and constantly reapplying every 2 hours for fear of smudged eyebrow gel residue.
We have a problem. And it's become too camouflaged a norm to actually give it its due acknowledgment and too normalized to regard as an issue necessary of amends and realignment. But what exactly am I talking about? I bet the following scenarios/instances will sound all too familiar for you guys, myself included: