McCray: The illusion of perfection we share online

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What kind of people do you want in your life? Why are we so quick to share the joyful moments of our lives, but feel inhibited to share pain and sorrow?

Let’s say you have a small group of friends on social media; shouldn’t you be able to share how you’re feeling? Yes, social media is an outlet where you can show the sides of yourself. On the other hand, there is a cost. Society is persistent in telling us to look and act a certain way; beautiful, sexy, perfect weight, perfect look, wealth, and position of status.

Why does it matter? If people only like you during those bright moments in life, how are you supposed to know who will be there for you through the difficult times? As I remind myself and others, if people can’t accept you, for your true self, then they are not worth having in your life.

I don’t know about you, but I would want people in my life that respect and accept me for who I am;  to be there during the good and bad times. According to Pew Research, “Roughly three-quarters of social media-using teens agree people are less authentic and real on social media than they are offline.”

This makes it challenging to find people who respect you and for you to make potential friends. How does one find friends when many have a mask on through their social media? Jillian Kramer wrote an article for glamour and said, “Friendships ultimately require occasional face-to-face interaction if they are to be maintained over time.”

If you did meet someone face-to-face they would be looking for the person that you portrayed online. Yes, I can understand that opening up and socializing in person can be nerve racking; but aren’t genuine relationships worth it? Evan Asano from SocialMediaToday shared, “Total time spent on social media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming.” 

“One is that social media is just a time suck and uses up time that might otherwise be spent in actual person-to-person socialization,” said Alice G. Walton a contributor from Forbes in the article. Pew Research Center’s statistics show, “Some 85 percent of teen social media users agree that people get to show different sides of themselves on social media that they cannot show offline. This sentiment is consistent across most major demographic groups. Forty percent of teens do report feeling pressure to post positive and attractive content about them. The bulk of teens, 30 percent, report feeling “a little” pressure, while just 10 percent say they feel “a lot” of pressure. There are no significant differences between boys and girls, different ages or races and ethnicities in feeling this pressure,” according to the article.

Don’t be afraid to experience and share both the ups and downs in your life. Be mad to love, mad to live, and the right people that are meant to be in your life will be there; be true to yourself.

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