Social Media and the Unending Pressure for Perfection
Wow! Have you seen Bola, remember her from our high school days? Goodness, gracious! Bola is doing so well! Her skin glows, plus she embarks on exotic vacations frequently. Oh, really, where did you bump into her? On Instagram sis, you need to check out her page. She is living the life! God when? I am fed up o, can’t wait to start balling too.
This exchange is not unfamiliar. Even if we haven’t had one recently, someone somewhere is ‘oohing' and 'aaahing' over someone’s seeming perfect life on social media.
Social media is indeed a blessing in disguise. It has made life a lot easier. Keeping in touch with family, friends, former colleagues, old school mates is just a click away. Video, voice, and even chats with our dear ones can be achieved in real-time. It is also a medium for transacting business, education, information and more. However social media has become a contributory factor to unhappiness, unfulfillment, bitterness and feeling of underachievement to many people.
On social media platforms, users are known to put their best feet forward. Everything is deliberate. From the picture quality, background (props), clothing, makeup, and even captions. Needless to say, life seems perfect on social media. However, there are people, who measure their own achievement based on what others put up especially on the gram. Someone posts a picture in a private jet, you ask God when? Someone posts exotic meal in a grand restaurant; you do a mental calculation and wonder how much you’d have to save to afford same. It’s even worse when it comes to relationships.
Picture a friend with her husband looking all grand in a perfect photoshoot giving the illusion of a perfect relationship and you silently begin to resent your own spouse who may not be too keen on taking pictures or is simply averse to having their pictures on social media.
We forget that no one ever posts a picture of them having a bad day. Taking a perfect shot is painstaking. Ask photographers. They take several shots, edit them to perfection after which you’re even told to pick the best of the best. Even with our smartphones, the process is the same, and oh, tell me about those filters and apps that make us look flawless.
There are days I even ditch the idea of posting pictures because the pictures and location aren’t perfect
One thing is sure, social media has come to stay. More advanced platforms will spring up as well and oh, sophisticated phones with cameras that will make anyone look picture perfect. However, we need to always remember that life on social media is surreal. I have seen people in real life who look totally different from what they look like on social media. Their skin isn’t even, their face not spotless after all and that perfect shape, lol, definitely not a figure 8. You’d be surprised that car you see an old school friend pose with isn’t his or hers. It was just a perfect prop that fit the occasion.
Tell me about the frequent trip abroad, what if the person took as many pictures during a single trip to last a year. Lol. I’d do it sincerely. When I travel to Paris, trust me, I will take lots of pictures with different outfits and wigs. These pictures will last me years. People do the most on social media. This piece is not to diss anyone, but a gentle reminder you’re doing well. Your life is beautiful and real. All you probably need is a ‘very' smartphone with amazing apps to filter your pictures to perfection.
We all have our unique challenges. Beating yourself over what is unreal is you selling yourself short.
Written By Judith Irenoa