Filtering Our Way Through a Fabricated Reality

With mental illness now being the leading cause of disability, I want to take this opportunity to discuss the implications of filters. Viewer beware because if we are not conscious of the highlight reel effect with social media then scrolling can quickly catapult us into a state of negativity and feeling as though we are not enough. It really is all about angles and we have to be careful that we don’t dive into a state of comparison when viewing billboards and advertisements because it is not reality. What’s worse is that photoshop is no longer required to create seamless imagery. When we view the highlights of other people’s lives on social media and then compare it to our state we are left feeling inadequate. 

When we view other people and their successes, we hardly consider all that needed to be done in order to achieve that state. We tend to think that other people have all the luck and opportunity and we let their success cause us to feel like we are failing. Although there are some amazing realist advocates out there, generally speaking, people don’t post their struggles. I had a conversation with a girlfriend recently who expressed that she was sad because everyone’s lives were going so well. I had to remind her that we all have our struggles, but again we don’t like to share that information, do we? 

So how can we move forward and stay connected to this ever-changing world without degrading our worth in the process? Become a conscious scroller! Notice your reactions when looking at other people’s posts and when that perfectly curated photo comes across your feed simply consider the love and often professional quality that went into that post. If viewing something challenges your worth, then consider what could you do to achieve that same desired result? For example, let’s say that you are looking a common post using the tag #transformationtuesday. Often people will post their fitness progress and will post a photo of what they have worked hard to become. If looking at someone’s abs on Instagram makes you feel less beautiful then ask yourself, am I willing to put in the dedication that this person has to achieve those kinds of results? If the answer is yes, then you should be inspired by that photo. If the answer is no then you should not place those kinds of expectations on your body and simply embrace your current beautiful shape. 

If viewing a perfectly depicted family photo, then ask yourself do you dedicate time daily to nurture your relationships with your loved ones? When looking at something that you want, decide what you are willing to do to make that your reality, and remember it can be as simple as having a good camera with some knowledge about how to pose ;) Never let someone’s else success or happiness be the cause of your demise. Instead be inspired, stay committed and most importantly be authentic to the beautiful person that you already are!  

Meg Stevenson