Read This Before You Filter, Crop, Or Edit Your Next Photo

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In the age of ever-growing technology, the power of social media is astounding. It connects worlds that are oceans apart and informs millions in a matter of seconds. However, it also provides individuals the power to create alter egos through cropping, filters, witty captions, and camera angles.

Now, I’m not going to act “holier than thou” and pretend like I don’t try to capture the perfect image for the instant satisfaction of someone thinking my life is kind of cool. In fact, I’ve mastered a routine of how I edit my photos and when I believe is “prime” posting time. Pathetic? Slightly… But that’s not the problem.

The problem isn’t how much we edit. It’s why we edit.

Today, I got a comment on my latest Instagram post. It read, “You’re flawless.” A few days ago another said, “I want to be you.” A few weeks ago, “You’re perfect.” A year ago, “I’m jealous of your everything.” The list goes on and on. The thing is, when I think about it, I’m not flawless. No, you don’t want to be me, and more importantly I am far from perfect. However, for some strange reason people legitimately think these things and I want them to even though I know it’s not true.

I want them to because I want to believe these comments. I have the power, granted to me by social media, to showcase my life in ways that I want people to see it, rather than the reality, my reality. Solely based off of my social media, people believe I’m always smiling and confident, when the truth is I’m not. I struggle… a lot, but I never want people to know that.

Before posting that perfect selfie, I choose between at least ten to fifteen other selfies, and I pick at every single one of them and I point out flaw after flaw until I decide to settle on the “best” one. However, no one would know that based off of my latest Instagram selfie.

From my #latergrams to my #selfies and everything in between, no one would ever know how lonely I feel at times, how insecure and self conscious I get, or how imperfect I really am. I’ve made so many mistakes in my past, I make mistakes on a daily basis, and I will continue to make mistakes in my future. But I shouldn’t try to “delete” the very things that make me human.

What I’m trying to get to is this: I will wholeheartedly admit that I used social media as a way to crop, edit, and filter my new reality, but that is not okay. We shouldn’t try to mask the struggles of our daily lives in order to prove to others that we’re better. Instead of dedicating so much time and effort on how people perceive us, we should shift the focus to ourselves. If we’re feeling sad, we should focus on being happy, not pretend to be. If we’re feeling lonely, we should try to understand why we feel that way, not mask it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally normal to worry about what others think of us, but it shouldn’t run or ruin our lives.

No matter how flawless or perfect someone may seem, they’re not. No one is flawless. No one is perfect. But I can guarantee that every one of us is human and that’s what we should be celebrating. Not the likes or the comments, but us. TC mark

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