I have been working on my latest article for NLC (Hungarian fashion & lifestyle online magazine where I run a column) which includes some smart phone applications we tend to use to make our pictures flawless. I am not here to blame you, guilty as charged myself as I put some extra exposure on dark pictures or make them look warmer tone as well. However every of my picture and video I post on social media is real.
What do I mean by real?
I’m sure you came across that thought provoking video about Facebook (check HERE) which removes the sugar coating from those perfect posts we see on our timeline. Because the „yolo” feeling may be a cover for loneliness and a pointless life and even wearing the latest sportwear trend will never guarantee a healthy lifestyle to you. They only imitate perfection.
We share the happy, joyful and beautiful moments of our lives on social media and nothing is wrong with letting our long distance friends & family to be part of those memories. The problem lays in comparison when you feel low as your posts don’t even come near to your friends’ perfect sushu dinner pictures or engagement lifetime events. Instead of appreciating what you have, you get caught up in the comparison game.
To be seen and let be seen
There is a bigger threat than your private holiday pictures in the new media because we are not only bombarded by the altered images of the magazine cover but social media produced new idols with their perfect lives. The girl from next door: the fashion blogger, the Instagram celeb, the interior designer or the hairdresser of famous people. They are „everyday” people with one thing in common: a flood of images with precisely set lifestyle where the colour of the carpet perfectly matches the decorative pillows ont he sofa and somehow even the sun shines brighter on their pictures.
Is this the reality?
The 18 years old Instagram/YouTube personality, Essena O’Neill decided it was time for that curtain to fall down and revealed the other side of her perfect life to her half million followers. On her re-edited Instagram posts we learn the stress and fight with her sister behind that beach picture of herself, struggling hard to suck in her tummy to look flat and we learn the truth behind a cute lifestyle image which she got 400 dollars for to post. Companies don’t risk: in her latest video she expresses her frustration over the business side of social media when they tell where the product should be, how she should pose and what caption to add in order to gain maximum brand exposure. She may be only 18 but a few intensive years on social media already burnt her out and decided to use her popularity to open others’ eyes not to believe everything they see on Instagram feeds. She can’t pretend that picture perfect life anymore and after reading her story and watching her new videos, she got a new follower in me with her authenticity. Essena doesn’t cirticize the business side, she only rejects the way how these social media personalities do not come clean if they were paid to post and wants to encourage us to have a healthy balance between what is real that matters and what is fake.
You are more than a number
The story of this Australian girl is an excellent example of living a life which doesn’t depend on like-s or hearts (Periscope). Will 500 more like make you more beautiful? Will 1000 more followers validate you and prove that you can be loved? If you reach 1 million hearts, will that make you „somebody”?
Don’t get trapped in social media as you are so much more than a follower number or the number of shares under your posts. Don’t lie, most importantly to yourself as the perfectly set muesli bowl may sound as the perfect breakfast post but instead of faking it to be perfect, try to create a life which feels good on the inside.
Because you can not photoshop happiness!