In a world of constant self validation through media, there is a deep sense of insecurity that no one wants to acknowledge. Selfies, tweets and likes are a framework designed by social media outlets to measure and attract pop culture influence. However, our own technological creation has backfired on us.
From the moment we open our eyes to when they close, we are glued to our phones, magazines, ads and more. We move from picture to picture, screen to screen, always processing externally and internally. The connections we create across virtual onsets make up for the sense of acceptance we so desperately seek within the enclosed walls of our realities. The only problem… there seems to be no end.
We consistently paint, draw, sculpt, design, invent and innovate. Where before our creations could only reach a certain number of people, the ability to share our work across social platforms has increased not only our confidence but inspired others to do the same. However, the need to create something different and unique has slowly become meaningless in the analogous functioning of our social structures. Everyday we scroll through lists of trending topics and do our part to imitate them. Everyone just wants to do or have the same thing! In our heightened emotional insecurities, we lose sight of our creative muses and in turn lose our individuality. Unwittingly we stunt our own originative thoughts and put them on the back burner so that we can willingly lose ourselves in the never ending circle of commercial consumerism and networking. At the end of the day if you have more than 100 likes then you’ve made it…. right?
Over the years the body has been portrayed from plus size rounded figures and now to skinny, less than ideal image. As a result, many strive to recreate these images through themselves no matter the cost. In our fast paced world we are incapable to accept anything but quick results. People have driven themselves to starvation, become drug abusers or opted plastic surgery to lose weight to fit social standards. Although our awareness of the significance of a healthy lifestyle has been growing, fitness falls low on the scale of quick fixes. Social media definitely provides the platforms where these issues can be raised, but in comparison to the number of likes a selfie can get, everything falls short. A series of quick swipes on a screen has become more a meaningful sense of approval then the appreciation of your own skin and good health. We have been carefully manipulated to feel the need to look like models and celebrities and to accept that what we are shown is the simple truth. But now with filters and various editing softwares, we have been given the tools to continue this fabrication. With misrepresentation on both ends, how can one push past insecurity when their continuously burying themselves under?
Social media outlets have taken on the purpose of bringing together hundreds, thousands, even millions of people to connect in various ways. Political views, social standards, pop culture, commercialism are widely explored topics cross social platforms. Given the ability to exercise freedom of speech has been given a new meaning in today’s wired world. Technological advancements have given us the ability to send out our personal thoughts into the media, naming ourselves social activists, but some have abused their speech to hurt others. From cyber bullying to false truths there seems to be no end to online verbal abuse. It’s important to remember that although we may not have the responsibility of creating positive images, it’s equally as important not to put others down. These thoughtless actions must be stopped so that we can move on to being better people and better role models towards each other.
Recognizing the significance of a like, a post, a photo, a comment is the difference between being smart and being ignorant. Presenting yourself in the most honest way is the best way to be your truest self and to love yourself for who you are without living in the shadows of others.