With the large influence social media plays in most people’s daily lives, it is no wonder why we are stuck comparing ourselves to our peers, and even those we do not personally know. Social media gives individuals an outlet to post ones’ own successes and adventures and frankly, glorify one’s’ life for content viewers to become envious over. It is extraordinarily rare that someone will post pictures for the world to see that are “flawed”, “unposed” or even “unedited” in one way or another. Why? Because that would mean being comfortable with being vulnerable. And vulnerability is scary.
Yet, when engaging in social media, we tend to forget that the content we are viewing is more likely than not *edited*.
What if instead of a picture on the beach with a significant other in the sunset captioned “No Sunday Scaries when I’m with you” the picture was captioned “fought about my spending habits over dinner. After that, we walked to the beach in silence. This picture was captured on the 5th try by a stranger- the other 4 were extremely unflattering and awkward.” Some might applaud the honesty and bravery of the post, and some might screenshot the content and send it to their pals via text.
Because deep down, a part of everyone wants to be accepted for their authenticity. The envy of someone else’s comfort with their less than perfect side is threatening to our own selves. “Are you saying that I spent $5.99 on an app to get rid of my pimples and whiten my teeth while SHE’S getting complimented for displaying her true colors?!” Possibly. But this article is not intended to criticize those who DO edit pictures or glorify captions of posts.
This article aims to be a simple reminder that content online is not always 100% authentic. When we find ourselves stuck in the comparison cycle that social media can bring us to, it is important to take a step back and recognize that our journey, our strengths, our story and our “flaws” make us all that we are.
That pimple on my chin? That was from the stress of studying for my grad school final that I passed!
Those off-white teeth? That’s from all the coffee that my favorite barista makes special for me every morning while reading the morning paper.
Those crows feet around my eyes? Those show up whenever I am so happy my smile just curves up so high the lines appear.
The stretch marks on my belly? Yup, I grew a human being in my body for 9 months.
While some may view anything unedited or controversial as “imperfections”, take a moment to truly consider the value in all that is YOU.