In the world where success and self-worth are measured by the number of 'likes' on social media, it is becoming more and more difficult to see people's true selves. I used to wonder: "Is there something seriously wrong with me?" I mean, all these people on Instagram and Facebook seem to have their lives in order, and here I am, going up and down, being extremely happy one minute, falling apart the next minute. So what the heck is wrong with me?!
A few days ago I was feeling down so I confided my feelings in my friend. To my surprise, he told me that he would have never ever thought that I was feeling that way. "By the photographs that you post, you seem like the happiest, most put-together person." There was my proof first-hand – what you see on social media is a bunch of lives full of pretense. We are all guilty of it… well, those of us consumed by social media.
Recently, I started paying more attention to how these social media ‘games’ make me feel. I started noticing that after receiving a number of compliments for a selfie that I posted, instead of feeling great and flattered, more and more I started to feel like a liar. "This is not the real me," - I started explaining to some of my friends, "I don't look like that in real life." I made a decision to stop posting so much of my person things on Facebook and Instagram (my New Year’s resolution for 2016). As I thought about it more, I realized that before posting something I need to think about my intentions for a post. Am I trying to "impress" someone? Am I trying to obtain someone's reassurance? Or am I simply posting something because I feel like having it as a part of my 'online diary', no other intentions in mind? If the case is the latter one - it is safe to post; if, however, the case falls under the first or second questions, then we have a problem.
Social media has been slowly but surely becoming the evil of today's society. Don't get me wrong, I still love my social media sites; however, have you been following any fitness or fashion 'models' on Instagram lately? All their posts are these pictures of perfection - perfect outfits, perfect lighting, perfect shape and form. But how many of them don't have sponsors behind those 'perfect photos'? Exactly. So how can we compare ourselves to these fictional characters? We can’t and we shouldn’t. It is a dangerous game, as before you know it you end being a victim of trying to be perfect, when in fact, perfection does not exist, and even more importantly, perfection should not be anyone's ultimate goal. Be unique, be spontaneous, be imperfect, be yourself.
The other day I came home from work feeling extremely tired and sad. I don’t remember what exactly made me feel that way, but all of sudden I started thinking about how some people in this world are mistreated and undervalued, and that made me very upset. There are so many beautiful people in this world, people with beautiful personalities, beautiful stories, beautiful intentions, etc., and all we focus on are the appearances. It’s sickening how shallow we are sometimes. That day, I decided that it’s time to start getting down to the core of who we are, who I am. After I took a shower and took all of my makeup off, I got my camera out and took a few selfies. But not the pretty kind, the kind that exposed my state of mind at the time. There I was, with no cover-up. My skin was breaking out pretty bad that day; but with all that, these are some of my favorite selfies I ever took because they are real. Because they show the sadness in my eyes at the moment they were taken. Because months and years later, when I look at these photos, I will not need to read a post to understand how I was feeling at that moment. Because they show that my life is not perfect.
PS: ironically, I did not post these ‘real’ pictures on social media…
Pretty and 'dolled-up'
Real, feeling 'down'