I’ll be honest, every image I upload to my social media platforms has been edited. Whether it’s to make it look sunnier or to make me look more tanned, there will be some form of ‘filter’ on there. Of course, I want my ‘online image’ to be my best self; who wouldn’t? I’m not sure if this is to do with the career I chose or my perpetual OCD telling me that every image I upload needs to (in my eyes) look perfect.
As a millennial, I’ve seen social media evolve (from MySpace – Instagram) to the point where being a ‘social media influencer’ is now considered a full-time job! Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that people are able to build a career by influencing others and are trying products and services they love on a full-time basis. However, something that goes hand in hand with social media is recognition, and the desire to be ‘seen’ or ‘respected’.
With every platform now comes some form of measurement, whether it’s a like button or a share. I’m guilty of judging the quality of my own photos by how many likes they receive. Oh, I’ve even gone so far as to delete an image because it hasn’t gained a certain number of likes. But why do I feel conditioned to behave in this way online?
I guess there are certain things you can’t change with ease in the real world, and luckily, I’ve learnt to not only deal with that, but to slowly love myself and own it. I do t
hink that growing up alongside the rise of social media has hindered me in a way that I will always compare myself to others, and wonder why someone else has nicer hair or longer legs than me. Even though it comes with a whole host of negatives, I do think that social media can also be an amazing and empowering platform for many.
There are SO many online groups, communities and forums that are tailored towards people from all walks of life. Even if you don’t want to talk to someone, you’ll be able to find a blog or group and just read through other people’s troubles or experiences. Everyone deals with things in different ways but it’s a lot more reassuring to know that you are never alone and someone will understand you or know what you’re going through, and this has become a lot more apparent since the advancement of social media. So, although I personally battle with both the positives and negatives of social media, ultimately I think the good far outweighs the bad.
On a final note, I thought I’d offer a piece of my own advice; remember that as much as you are in control of what you post online, you are equally as in control of what you see. If there is a certain account that makes you feel slightly jealous, uneasy or uncomfortable- block it! And if you’re as much of a cat fan as I am, follow as many cat-centric accounts as possible, and fill your newsfeed with things that make you happy- little things can make a huge change! Especially on a rainy day. #FarFromReality