I love numbers. I thoroughly enjoy mathematics when I was young. Recently, I’ve harboured such great hatred for numbers. Salaries, instagram likes, Facebook likes, revenue, profit and age. In this day and age, we are competing in numbers. We let it define our worth when it’s not supposed to be that way.

There was a point in time where my core businesses were doing mural projects vs speed painting performances. These were the 2 biggest money makers in my company. Sometimes, I would see other local artists’ mural projects in Instagram(follow me on instagram btw – @hazelong), and I would feel envious of them. Not to worry because immediately after that, my mind consoled myself that I have my speed painting gigs. I used one aspect to console my other failure. Aha. But this is the catch. Why does other people’s success mean my failure? They succeeded, good for them. Now why do I feel like I’ve failed.

I didn’t, I just felt like I did. And for years, my insecurity would have me using my current successes as an excuse for consolation. If I were smarter then, I would have realised that I didn’t have to.

Instagram and Facebook are apps that use numbers to their advantage. The quest for more likes had people completely addicted to using the app. Succeeding in the game of social media would meant that you need to follow trends set by the waves. For example, photos in instagram have to be reflected, window lit. Props to you if you are a Yogi, shame on you if you lift weights. Hey, don’t blame me, I lift weights but I sure know that if I post that it would set off those crossfit haters in a vengeance. It’s just the way it is. If you take photos of food, it better be sharp and from the top view. Recipes for #ootd success would mean top shots of legs with magazine and a coffee on a white bed sheet, lots of big hair in your makeup shot and ‘Oops, I’ve dropped it’ poses for your outfits.

Trust me, try doing some of those and see the likes coming in. Then swap in your usual photos of you with your friends, your latest sports tyre change or your highest darts score. See what happens then. The audience can smell pride and boast from 10,000 screens away. Doesn’t matter if you are actually boasting or not, that depends on what they think anyway.

At the end of the day, learn the game and decide yourself whether you wanna play the game or not. Perhaps the best thing to do is to play it by the rules and break them once you have the chance.