A real life glimpse behind the perfect selfie

"Will we ever represent our real selves on social media?"

That was the tweet I read today. It was accompanied by this image: 

 

For most of us, our persona on social media is heavily curated and controlled. We scroll through our feeds and chide ourselves for comparing, but fall victim to it anyway. There are people we hate-love on social media, because their lives seem so perfect, with all their #bodygoals, #relationshipgoals, and #squadgoals.

When I say hate-love, you know what I mean, right?

Hate-love:
The feeling of
awe and admiration one elicits in you, while at the same time triggering a gag reflex. 

But it doesn't stop at just the looks.

When we are scrolling through and we see images like this:

...we create a story in our minds of the person living this life, and our lives never, ever, ever measure up.

Because when we make assumptions about other people living perfect lives, we are acutely reminded of how imperfect our lives are and how far under the bar we fall.

And we don't need help feeling like we're not good enough. We battle our own inadequacies everyday, even before we pick up technology. We don't need an ipad...we have a mirror. Add the filtered and edited newsfeeds that we spend hours on everyday, and it's like pouring lighter fluid on a well established fire.

Do you ever get tired of editing your appearance and your life?

Do you ever crave community with people who are brave enough to pull the curtain back on social media and honestly share a view into their lives?

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These women shared their selfies with me.

I asked a group of women from a group called Known Nashville to do two things:

1) share a selfie with me

2) tell me what's really going on in their life at the moment

The pictures they shared with me were typical social media selfies, but the captions were not.  

*To see what each woman wrote, click on their picture and hover over their face. If you are on mobile, tap on their picture and click the tiny dot in the bottom right hand corner. 

*To see what each woman wrote, click on their picture and hover over their face. If you are on mobile, tap on their picture and click the tiny dot in the bottom right hand corner. 

This is the face of...real life. 

Each of us is living real life, and it's made up of bitter moments, confusion, mountain-top highs, celebrations, gratitude, joy, pain, exhaustion...all of it. There are no comparisons to live up to in real life, because I'm the only one living my unique journey. Your is completely different.

So, if you're willing to live your whole life authentically, in person and online, I'll leave you with these teeny nuggets. 

Being real online:

  • does not make you a debbie downer. Sometimes, we're afraid to share our real life stories because we don't want to dampen everyone's party. Newsflash: people appreciate honesty, and life is not one big rager all the time. 

  • does not make you seem weak. Show those cracks in your veneer. Humanity is never weakness. Fakeness (new word, look it up--ok not really) is always weak.

  • does not mean you have to overshare. Brene Brown, "Oversharing is not vulnerability. In fact, it often results in disconnection, distrust and disengagement.” To understand the difference between oversharing and vulnerability, and for some great questions to ask yourself prior to sharing, check out this article. Ultimately, I'm not advocating using instagram and facebook as confessionals, but I am encouraging you to stop hiding behind impossible veils of perfection.

  • gives other people permission to share their journey as well. There's courage in numbers.

  • helps people connect and build trust. Connection and intimacy are sparked when we watch others take off their armour and stand in the open.

  • reminds people that they aren't alone. The people you want in your lives will say, "Me, too." when you share, or at least, "I get it." 

If you don't have folks around you that are real online and in person, start the search.  This kind of living takes a village. 

 

 

 

 And because I was so inspired by the women above---"This is the face of a 40 yr old girl who, because of her husband's recent layoff, is questioning her choice of leaving her career to stay home and homeschool her kids."

And because I was so inspired by the women above---"This is the face of a 40 yr old girl who, because of her husband's recent layoff, is questioning her choice of leaving her career to stay home and homeschool her kids."

Samantha Nelson4 Comments