By: Sheila Hill
Today’s generation lives in a world defined by technology and media. One’s popularity and self-esteem is based on the number of followers on Instagram and how many “friends” they have on Facebook. We have taken advantage of what once was a luxury and have made social media a necessity – not to mention a considerable time-drain of our everyday lives.
To be honest, I don’t know what I would do without social media. My daily routine revolves around it – from the moment my iPhone alarm wakes me up each morning to my daily installment to my Snapchat Story, I text, tweet, scroll, and upload throughout my entire day.
My own self-image has even suffered due to my incessant social media usage. I see other girls posting pictures of their perfect bodies, their perfect hair, and their perfect lives; and, as a result, I subconsciously have tried to portray a more idealized version of myself on my social media profiles, as well. These days, everyone posts an “edited” version of their lives on the web. We share ideal moments that reflect an ideal lifestyle, while the imperfect-ness of our existence stays hidden from our followers. This has forced me to acknowledge a false sense of identity through my social media.
While getting 100+ likes on Instagram does, admittedly, feel like some sort of accomplishment, this need for validation and approval from our followers can lead down a very slippery slope. Young people everywhere are scrolling through Facebook and Instagram feeds, constantly consuming these filtered images, while they are experiencing their own unfiltered realities.
Unfortunately, I know where this slippery slope can lead all too well. During my freshman year of college, my roommate and now close friend lost her best friend to suicide. This shocked the world, as she seemed to have it all. Her filtered Instagram pictures showed her out having fun, running in track meets, hanging out with friends, enjoying beautiful scenery – but she was unable to apply these perfect, filtered moments to her imperfect, unfiltered life.
Real life isn’t filtered, and we need to get back to being OK with that. Technology was created to make our lives easier, not harder. But in this day and age with Photoshop, retouching, and filters, everyone can make their lives look perfect in just a few clicks. As we all learned growing up, nobody’s perfect. If everybody was, what a boring world we’d live in!
How much do you filter your life on social media?
If you like what you read, I encourage you to please be social, and share.