Everyone is connected to some type of social media. It's pretty inevitable in this day and age. And no matter how many times you claim you aren't addicted to it, you're probably trying to cover up the fact that you check your Instagram every five seconds to see who else liked your latest selfie or picture of your Mediterranean flatbread from Panera. The question at heart is, why are we posting about all of these things for everyone else to see, instead of simply enjoying the moment of what we're doing. Is it a true depiction of who we are?
Certain people truly wear their heart on their sleeve by religiously posting everything that occurs during their day:
You hiked to the top of Mount Washington? You just have to Instagram the view.
You saw five of your friends at a party you already knew they were going to? Put it on your 115-second long Snapchat story.
You have two exams and a paper due tomorrow? Procrastinate even more by posting how much you don't want to do any of the work.
The cycle continues. Personal business becomes the world's business to marvel at by tweeting and snapchatting left and right about where they are, who they're with, and what they're doing. It's almost as if there's a subconscious part of humans that need and desire the attention and the perception that we're always having an incredible time. But that's not how life actually works. There's negative weighed in with the positive, but no one wants to post about that on their Facebook profiles, because everything is supposed to constantly be sunshine and rainbows. Right?
Besides, everyone and their mother knowing what friends and strangers seem to be doing is not always accurate. In fact, it's never 100% accurate. Social media commonly creates a false perception of who people are and what their lives are actually like. This causes viewers to have low self-esteem, feelings of being left out or that they are not investing enough of themselves, and can even lead to extremes such as cyber-bullying and depression.
There are parts of ourselves that we want people to see, and then there are others we shelter from the eye of the Internet. Social media depicts an idea of the type of positive, everything-is-awesome type of people we aspire to be, but it's not like that in reality. We want the world to see that we are happy, always doing adventurous, fulfilling activities, and that we're on top of the world. We edit our lives and cut out the real parts, only focusing on the ideal parts of who and what we wish we could be.
There are three things to keep in mind while posting on social networks:
1. The number of likes you get on a picture, favorites on your tweet, and comments on your status in no way define who you are as a person. You are just as beautiful inside and out with ten likes on a profile picture instead of 10,000.
2. Quit comparing yourself to others on the Web, because it's only a false sense of self they're promoting to the world, too. Eliminate the perfect ideals and focus on what's real.
3. Instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing, remain focused on your own goals and ambitions. Stay true to the type of person you are, not the type of person that will impress others. Enjoy the present instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing. It shouldn't affect who you are and how you feel, regardless. The entire universe doesn't need to know everything about yourself.
Be the best, authentic version of yourself for yourself, and put down the phone once in a while. You might catch a glimpse of something you wouldn't have seen otherwise.