Over the past 20 years, our daily lives have drastically changed. Ever since the early 2000’s the amount of people who are a part of social media has skyrocketed. According to Statista (2021) during the years 2019 and 2020, the average amount of time users have spent on social media sites is 145 minutes, which equals 2.4 hours. Since we live in a world where social media has become a huge part of society’s life, it would make sense that it has become rather important to these individuals to create and maintain content to post on these sites – especially for those who use these platforms to show off their brand.
What most people do not realize while scrolling through these social media sites is that perception is everything in order to be successful, especially for those who would like to maintain their presence on these platforms. Since everyone has these ideas of what their “ideal self,” and we all want success in our lives, there are trends on social media that have shifted how people present themselves. Originally, when social media was first introduced and used, people would post what their lives were like, and things looked much more realistic.
Now, the content is very repititive. The ideal shown on social media have become influenced by how our society and environment are set up today. The same factors drive us, such as what are competitors are posting or how many followers we have. From this point, our ideal selves were born.
What most of us don’t even realize is that if you begin to post your ideal self, then no one on that platform will truly see who you actually are as a person. Then, at some point, you could reach a point where you no longer recognize yourself after you have tried so hard to post your life to appear “perfect.”
On the other side of things, if you don’t post anything but are still on social media for a long period of time, then you will still have a blurred image of yourself. This can happen due to the fact that you are seeing images of other people who are having seemingly perfect lives. For example, if you are following someone and start to obsess over how fit that person is, then that could lead to body image issues, especially since Photoshop is now a big thing for influencers.
This is not at all saying that social media is bad for you. The creation of social media has resulted in the creation of many new careers. As a result of these types of jobs and skills, many companies have become very successful. Especially for those individuals who own small businesses, they will make content revolving around their products, which will in turn catch the eye of those who are just mindlessly scrolling through social media. But there is a question everyone must ask themselves: as you are scrolling through social media platforms, whether it is Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, etc., do you see you? Or do you see your life through a filter? So, the next time you are scrolling through your social media platforms, think about what is realistic and what is not.