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The Perfect Image

Why are we striving to achieve perfection when we know that it’s impossible?

Source: Pinterest

Social media used to be fun. It was designed as a platform where we share, create, and connect with each other. Today, the way we use social media has changed. It's become about how many likes can I get or how can I make my post better than one of my followers’. The worst part of all is we are so focused on how many followers others have, is their makeup on point, or are they using the right slang terminology, that once the “perfect image” is posted, who they are gets erased.

Speaking from my own personal experience, I rarely post selfies on my Instagram because I’ve had many insecurities about my appearance, and also felt the pressure of writing a caption that would make me seem more interesting and Instagram-worthy. I also see followers postings and because they always look great in their posts, I start to feel self-conscious of the “plain Jane” photos I post which has made me rarely post at all. This mentality of making every single post more grand than the pervious one is taking the fun out of using social media, and has turned it into a competition of who did it better. Antra Koul, a writer for the online magazine Viebly, wrote a great piece on how Instagram is promoting toxicity in young people and adults. She says that Instagram has, “promoted the opportunity for anyone to come here and become popular by showing a side of themselves that is not true.” The other aspect of portraying the perfect image that people are obsessed with is constantly finding new things to post about. Even if you don’t have a million followers like many celebrities and influencers, you still feel inclined to redirect attention to your page so that your followers don’t get bored or worse, think you’re boring. Because of our expectation of the perfect image, I found myself falling into this same pattern during a recent trip to New York City. During a visit to the Harry Potter store and the TV show Friends experience, I spent more time trying to take photos that people would Oh and Ah, and stopped making the most of being in the moment.. That’s when I realized the perfect image would be me enjoying this beautiful day at these two awesome spots and not standing in one place for 10 minutes trying to take the perfect picture for Instagram.

My advice is to say “fuck it” to any and all negativity that you feel when posting to Instagram or any other social media platform. Who cares what others think of you and your internet presence. It’s your platform and you should be able to feel comfortable posting whatever you want. It might be something as simple as a photo of where you’re going on vacation or how bored you are at your nine to five job. If that’s the real you, don't be afraid to show it. It’s taken me a long time to even feel comfortable taking a selfie and posting it on my story. What helped me get over that fear was reminding myself that almost everyone who follows me knows who I am, and I never need to pretend to be someone else.

Instagram is meant to be a place where we can invite people along to share special moments in our lives, a place where we should be able to be ourselves. If you want to focus on the best version of yourself, then focus on being your true self. That’s the perfect image and while it might take some time and work to believe it, don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.


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