In a world of sharing digital photos, keeping up with old friends and meeting new folks, posting pivotal life events, and showing ourselves to the public, social media has vastly become a way of life over the past decade. We upload photos to filter out the undesirable in our lives and apply the “Valencia” shade to highlight our best moments. But do we filter out a bit too much about ourselves? Did social media make us prideful to the point where we only choose to show others the greatest version of ourselves? Why are some of us so afraid to be one hundred percent in who we are and what our lives are really like?
HOW SOCIAL MEDIA MADE US PRIDEFUL
Self-inflation is unhealthy and flaunting on social media feeds that self-inflation. Today, it appears Instagram and Facebook have become an oasis of presentation where people come to flaunt their accomplishments, material possessions, and personal appearance. We’ve become “illusionists” projecting the illusion of bliss, giving our followers the idea that our lives are nearly perfect. We choose to show people the highlight reels of our lives and leave out the unattractive. Do we fear judgment and criticism from others?
There is a craving to impress others in this digital world. With infinite explorative Instagram hashtags, we have access to millions of users. Why do we feel this urge to impress others? Perhaps it’s the human desire to be liked, accepted, and admired; it makes us feel good. But what we are really showing others is a mere façade; we’re just vainly impressing them with nice things. Do they know the story behind why we have these nice things? In other words, it’s okay to share a little more than what is observable.
We hunger for “likes” and comments and it is likely that they feed our confidence. Breaking a hundred likes on a selfie—especially for the first time—is a confidence booster! Getting comments from various admirers under a celebratory “I graduated summa cum laude” post possibly assures us that we’re doing a great job in life. But do too many of us look to our internet “friends” for some sort of validation?
Social media has also become a tool for comparison. We may scroll through the wide ocean of filtered images and come across an aspirational post and think to ourselves, “Ugh, her life is more interesting than mine,” “she makes more money than I do,” she has more friends,” or “she’s younger than I am but accomplished more.” Rather than giving us a sense of pride, comparison hurts our pride. Either way, our pride is involved when it shouldn’t be. Comparison can leave a residue of inadequacy. The antidote: finding peace with your life and yourself.
Knock out social media pride with a dose of transparency! You can start off small and graduate from there. Show your followers and “friends” that you are human. Write a post about something you struggled with and overcame. This will give your followers hope with what they may be dealing with. Make a post about something you need to improve on. Be honest if you’re having a bad day. Post a makeup-free photo of yourself. What is a characteristic of yourself that you’re not proud of? This can be a once-a-week challenge or a once-a-month challenge or even a daily challenge. However you tailor it, being truthful with yourself and others will shrink your social media pride.
We don’t need this pride. So many admirers are waiting to identify with you. Showing people who you really are will make them think more highly of you and help them heal from anything they are struggling with. In doing so, you will inspire them to be honest with themselves. So you can continue to post your highlights, but pepper them with your humanity.