Our generation is astonishing to me. We are such a blessed group of people with the cards we were dealt: access to technology, tremendous support systems (in most cases), and a feel of ease in life that anything is possible. Those were the cards we were dealt. With that comes burdens that we aren’t even fully aware that we have created: narcissism, judgement of others, superficial relationships, lack of work ethic, feeling that we ‘deserve it’ just because we were told that we do. Those are the qualities in which I’m sure many of us are unaware that we, as a generation, have created for each other. While there may be no clear answer as to how or why we got here, lately I’ve attempted to look at the most influential part of our lives.
So let’s talk social media.
This is where I think the problem has derived from. Truly. It started out as something fun you went on when you had extra time. Something that never really had a ton of meaning behind what went out there. As the media is advancing, so are we. It has become filters, updates, constant feedback, and a lot of times criticism and judgement. How many times do you upload a photo without passing it by 3-4 people first asking whether or not the majority of viewers will like it or what the caption of some photo should be. It’s gone from something that is supposed to be a true reflection of ourselves and turned into something that has a become a measurement as to what should be socially acceptable. Not just that, but even pertaining to as who can be viewed as socially acceptable. Now, I’m not saying that all of us are like this, but a lot of us are…and we may not even realize we have been dragged into this deepening cycle. With guys we aren’t seeing such a big issue with this…but girls we are quite terrible.
Social media for girls has become a hostile environment. It’s just the reality of it. Whether someone is really putting themselves out there or not, we are mean to each other. Both on social media and off. So this once small insecurity a girl had about herself now turns into a bigger issue. Nothing is ever quite perfect. It has created a game of comparisons to each other. Who has the best ‘face’? Who says the right things? Who puts out there what everyone expects of them? Always waiting to point out flaws in others. As if putting down others will make us feel better about our own insecurities.
Pressure. That’s essentially what we are putting on each other.
It’s put this expectation on us to be what we put out on social media. When in reality, social media only portrays a small moment of our lives. We’re expecting so much from ourselves and each other to be ‘perfect’ as if that really exists. This idea of perfection within the media has shut us down from raw and true relationships with the people around us. How can someone be hurting if they look so happy in these pictures? WE’ve started to not just put filters on our pictures, but our lives. We hesitate to check in with each other. To reach out and have these real conversations and meaningful moments because the moments in reality may sway from what others thought of us. Knowing someone for who they are deep down, for their raw personality is so beautiful. We’re missing out on these relationships. The learning that we can do from each other if we just love.
In order to love ourselves fully, we need to learn how to show love to each and every being around us. Because we are all so beautiful. We each are so unique and have such raw ideas to offer.
Yes, the cards we were dealt have caused this spiraling mess and while it may never get better, we can try. It starts with love. Everyone.