Living in such a developed world, we find ourselves stuck in an era where being on a phone scrolling through our feeds is more important than talking to people or paying attention to what is around us. We are often in a “fairy-tale” environment where those who receive brand products or take good outfit-pictures have more impact on our behaviour than those who don’t have the same amount of recognition, or as we say, “followers”. Although sharing this opinion, I often find myself getting amazed by the work behind a good Instagram profile and comparing what I am posting to one of those influencers, even if I am not conscious of the difference between us. This profession of the future is exactly what the name indicates: a way to influence the viewer in order for them to fall for the things we are showing. And we fall for it. Even I fall for it without realising.
When scrolling through my Instagram feed I start to point out all of my flaws and consequently, the ones of those around me. I observe a girl with her hair straightened and I realise I do not want my curls anymore. I pass by a picture of a guy at the gym and I compare my boyfriend to him, realising that he should go to the gym too and put all his effort into being fit. I am stuck in this picture of a famous girl travelling and I immediately want to post something to make my life as interesting as hers. I keep scrolling and I see that a girl I went to school with had a nose job and she looks great – I wish my nose was the same way. I end up having all my flaws reunited in my head and I will make sure I won’t post them online.
We may say that the person we are online is exactly who we are supposed to be but you are in fact one of the million online personas out there. We feel the pressure either to post a lot or not to post at all, to make an aesthetic Instagram story or not to show it to everyone (that is why the option of posting to your close friends only is so commonly used) or even a simple detail as having your profile set on public or private. For some reason, we are always enforced to show the best version of ourselves even when we are having a bad day.
Don’t get me wrong: being online is not the worst thing that happens. It is just part of an evolutionary process where we adapt what we have to what people around us search for. Evolution is an on-going process and social media is a part of it. This is the market with its highest offer and demand and the one where we often lose ourselves in.
Questioning if we are the persona we show online may lead us back to the same point. We may end up comparing ourselves again to one of the million pictures we saw in the past few weeks and we may end up stuck, once more. My personal advice, as a youngster who pays attention to all that was mentioned above, is to live your life to its fullest when you are away from screen. Make sure you go out, you talk to someone different every day. If not, just make sure you are there for your friends and family and hide that phone when you are having a meal or when someone asks you how your day was.
You may not be exactly who you are on social media and you may not have that good lightroom filter with you all the time but as long as you stay true to yourself and to what you believe in, go for it.