When I was in high school, social media began to really take off. My friends urged me to have Twitter, Instagram, and snapchat. At first, I didn’t see a need to have all of these accounts and apps and I hardly ever posted on them. I had been extremely excited to finally get Facebook, but rarely posted status updates or photos. Eventually, I just forgot about them and went a year or two without using the accounts. Instead, I chose to focus on what was right in front of me. When I finally got back into using the accounts, I began to pay attention to the trends and behaviors I saw on them.
I became curious at the amount of people that only posted photos of their faces with filters. I looked at my own photos and wondered if I should have put filters on them. Would they have made me look prettier or more interesting? I can’t say that I never use them because I do. I like to play with the look and texture of my photos or use the filters to adjust lighting issues that I could not fix when I took the photo. However, one thing I always did was try to make sure my photos were as realistic as possible. I especially wanted to make sure my skin color was accurate.
I feel like social media has become a job more than just a fun way of sharing photos with friends and family. People take extra care to find the right angles and use it to portray themselves in a light that does not truly reflect who they are. At times, I think about what I can do to have the perfect photo or worry about whether I get enough likes. I also was slightly uncomfortable with the number of followers I had because I was afraid it wasn’t enough. In the end, I decided that these things did not matter to me. I didn’t want my self-esteem to be based on the amount of likes my picture got or the number of people who followed me. I just wanted to show myself in an honest light.