Given the emergence of social media platforms and the forward facing camera, social media narcissism takes form. In a selfie-obsessed culture, we are consumed by the need to present the most attractive version of ourselves online and in turn, a need for praise and admiration, which comes in the form of likes, comments, and favorites.
According to Forbes, social media narcissism can be exemplified by some the following behaviors: continuously updating one’s profile to gain admiration, over-sharing of photos that are purely self-promotional, seeking support through social media, and obsessively checking social media accounts hundreds of times a day. This instant gratification from social media might give you a quick ego boost but does this really help build self esteem? In fact, studies show the opposite effect.
Don’t let social media dictate your confidence, dignity and self-worth.
In a Today.com study, 46% of adult women claim that social media makes them feel self-conscious of their appearance. This anxiety and self-consciousness can lead people to edit their appearance and correct their self-perceived flaws before showcasing their photos online.
Let me assure you that you are flawless without the filter. Don’t let social media dictate your confidence, dignity and self-worth. While it’s easy to compare yourself to others on social media, keep in mind that this representation might only be half the story of who they really are.
This summer I came across a powerful Facebook post from a friend about a campaign called #HalftheStory. “Half the Story” is a project aimed at exposing the disparity between the stories we are telling and the stories we should be telling online. The campaign aims to tell the truth behind the “partial realities” that people choose to share with their social followings.
There are so many ways to feel good about yourself that don’t include likes, comments and shares online.
I truly believe that the dark side of social media needs to be brought into the open and discussed among teens who have such skewed perceptions of reality due to the glamorous and perfectly edited version of the world that they are exposed to online. We must learn to celebrate our differences, conquer our fears, and showcase our true selves online.
There are so many ways to feel good about yourself that don’t include likes, comments and shares online. For example, focus on your health, wellbeing and keeping your heart rate up. This could include meditating, doing a spin class with friends, or going on an outdoor hike! Take some time away from your phone and focus on forming real connections with people and doing the activities you enjoy most whether it’s cooking, painting, or traveling. Feel good in your own skin by embracing your flaws and the qualities that make you, you!
In the wise words of Justin Bieber, you should go and love yourself.