We all follow influencers on social media sites. You know the ones. They have perfectly filtered pictures, seemingly candid poses, and tens of thousands of followers. They’re always doing something cool and trendy in really amazing places.
HOW ARE THEY SO PERFECT?!
Truth is, they’re not. They’re just like us. By looking at their Instagram, you wouldn’t think that though. People only show the things we want them to see about us. Using photoshop apps to enhance those brief moments of ‘perfection’.
As time goes on, the impact social media has on us can shape our self esteem and the way we view ourselves, the way we view others in our personal lives, but also – how we “market” ourselves. From using the right filters, to captions, the time of day of posting, the overall message that we try to send, our ‘likes’, and who we follow all influence how we market our social media presence versus how we present ourselves in real life. Somewhere along the way, our physical appearance became the most important thing about social media. I myself am guilty of this. Who I am on social media does not match who I am as a person. How much we show is what they know.
Sometimes, I feel like my life isn’t anything special because I only have a thousand followers on instagram and my pictures aren’t perfect (now that I write that thought out I realize how ridiculous it sounds -BUT IT’S TRUE) Sometimes, I’ll have my boyfriend take hundreds of pictures of me only to hate all of them because I feel they’re not good enough for me to post.
Last year, however, I decided to write about my struggles. It helped me cope with everything and then I decided to publish them. One of the scariest part about it was that people would see that I have flaws, not just externally, but internally.
Which one is worse? The “flaws” we can see, or the ones we can hide every day?
Lets dig deeper into this.
I’ve been modeling since I was 12, and it’s a tough industry. All the rumors you might have heard about it are most definitely true. So I would only show pictures from photoshoots instead of my life. When I published my blog, that facade was broken. The pretty girl I posted was severely depressed and has crippling anxiety; no one knew. Not for lack of caring but for lack of sharing. Now, my “marketing strategy” has changed, I went from “the pretty girl” to “the girl who’s not just a pretty face”.
Now, my story is an extreme one, but it happens all the time. It’s a cliche, but it’s true when they say you don’t know someone’s story until you know them. If we’re honest with ourselves, everyone has their own internal struggles.
So how do we break the cycle and not let social media get the best of us?
1) Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.
Easier said than done, right? Being vulnerable is one of the most amazing things we can do. Let your feelings come to you! Are you sad? Are you angry? Are you anxious? Don’t fight your feelings because you feel like you should. Being human means we can feel, we have emotions, and sometimes those emotions are raw and hit you when you least expect it.
2) Be optimistic & have faith!
Did you bomb an exam you thought you were going to ace? Has your work ethic seemed to be at an all time low? Don’t pretend like it doesn’t matter, but don’t let it consume you either. Keep moving forward! Your future is still bright and success is still achievable if you have faith and believe in yourself.
3) Be Honest. Be Real. Be True!
Have you ever been afraid to post something for fear of the reaction?
- “what if I lose followers?” – WHO CARES. ‘THANK YOU, NEXT!’
- “what if it’s controversial” – We’re all entitled to our opinions.
- “what if no one likes it” – Do you like it?
Moral of the story: you get to decide how you want the world to see you, and you also decide what you want to see from the world. Just like your friends, choose who you follow wisely. And make sure what you post represents the real you.
This article was written by Andi Tolbert. Follow her on IG at @adriannadt and read her blog at http://www.prettytruths.wordpress.com