Today is January 2, 2017. During the year of 2016, I learned something frustrating, but also equally eye-opening -- I learned how much social media can both reinforce false personas and create disconnection.
Whether it’s… “I didn’t get enough likes on that picture” (Oh, you've definitely thought this before...) or “I need more perfect pictures of myself” (Yes, I’ve definitely had these thoughts)... I just feel like we’ve put so much weight and effort into life being and looking so perfect. We usually present and offer the best parts of ourselves, rather than the moments of stains and spilled coffee, the uncontrollably large growing zit, the car that has a smashed bumper and a crack in the windshield, a messy room, or even a hurt heart.
We’re scared to be vulnerable.
And though we need boundaries, (I am a huge advocate of not sharing/whining on Facebook) I also know that... if we're going to share moments at all, why not share the imperfect moments as well as the perfect ones? Not for attention's sake, but for the sake of being a real life human that has issues. When I say imperfect, what I really mean is messy. And let’s be honest with ourselves -- are our lives really "perfect" anyway? I mean... does posting a filtered, edited, and perfectly framed picture create better connection with the person sitting across the table from you? Or is it actually creating disconnection from that person to create a false persona online? Are we being real and vulnerable?
Social media isn't going away no matter how many times we delete Facebook, or take a break from social media, or deactivate our accounts when we're just over with it. It's still a very handy tool. I'm not saying to do away with it... but rather... I want to propose a movement of real life, imperfection, rawness, and messy stuff. Since, ironically, I'm using social media for this, I’m going to use this hashtag: #imperfect30. For 30 days, I’m posting messy, imperfect moments or things about life. Not pretty ones that I would rather everyone else to see. But pictures that I can find gratitude in anyway despite mess or things not going to plan. Because that's what makes this LIFE. Mess, unpredictability, fighting fear, etc. Life can't be measured by a standard of precision, but we must fight to find the gold in the little frustrating moments, enjoy the discomfort and comfort, and embrace the pain, the stretch and the struggle.
Am I doing this for attention? Well, let’s be real… why does anyone post any photos on social media than for some form of attention? It's a deep desire in all of our hearts to express and social media has been both an amazing way to do this and also a huge disservice of it. My goal in doing this is to evoke and awaken vulnerability in a generation that is more connected to their phones than to people. The generation of people that don’t know how to even make deep conversation, because they’re texting or thinking of texting someone else, instead of enjoying the moment with the living, breathing human being in front of them. I am guilty of this. And I am also tired of this.
Want to make a change with me?