Have you ever thought about the way in which you represent yourself on social media and what affect your perception of your ideal-self has on your real-self?
We spend a so much time creating an ideal-self that we forget who our real-self is.
Some of us can actually remember a time when what you saw was what you got. We couldn’t hide behind our computer screens and conjure up false images of our true selves. I have to admit that I too have been lured into posting only the “cream of the crop” to patiently anticipate a slew of “likes” and retweets from sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Starting a blog is also a shameless attempt at obtaining peer and self-acceptance.
So does this mean creating a “false positive” online existence is vain or just the opposite? Does our eagerness to be portrayed in the most positive light only end up illuminating our insecure need to be accepted?
Can I get an “Amen”?
I have spent a good chunk of my life enjoying the thrill of an audience, whether it be through acting, singing or hosting and social media has become an easy outlet to express myself.
I will also admit I haven’t always been truthful when it comes to divulging my real-self. I mean who really wants (or cares) to see my ugly truths?
The mind-numbing routines of my life would bore you to tears. So in some ways it’s not our fault we’ve created overzealous online personas.
We had no choice, right?
So what’s the lesson?
What I’ve learned:
1 Stop comparing yourself to others. Here’s where I have to admit this one is the toughest for me. I find myself constantly comparing what I have or don’t have to others my age, thinking things like why isn’t my house as big or worst why don’t I look as good as she does?
In truth we are just setting ourselves up for utter and complete failure because we are comparing ourselves to other’s ideal-selves. Deep down we all know this is not a true representation but we fall for it anyway.
No one posts so called “fat pictures” they choose the ones that make them look their absolute best. The same goes for our homes and our children. We don’t post dirty grout, weeds taking over the garden or temper tantrums from our “perfect” offspring! So stop comparing yourself to the picture perfect personas you just can’t compete with. It’s not fair to you or your real-self.
2 Lowering your expectations is the true key to happiness. Years from now when you’re on your death bed will any of this stand out in your memory? I seriously doubt it.
3 Be true to yourself. Cliché I know but people love authenticity. Figure out what your best attributes are and focus on them. Don’t over inflate the untruths when there are so many sides of you that are real and true and INTERESTING.
When I was a kid my Mom used to remind me that if everyone was the exact same it would be a boring world, I think of this often when I’m trying to be something or someone I’m not.
Interesting people are real and relatable.
We make mistakes; fall off the wagon; no one is a perfect spouse or a textbook parent. We crave acceptance and being your real-self is the most direct route to finding that approval. Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’ because in reality no one likes a show off.
4 We need to stop photoshopping and cropping out our flaws and use this energy to focus on working towards taking our notion of an ideal-self and using it as motivation to becoming our best real-self. People online and off want to know who we really are and if that’s not the case then we need to rethink our friendships, not our truth.