Friends on social media but not really in real life
Doesn't it seem like everywhere you go, each corner you turn, everyone seems to be living life vicariously through their phones? It's crazy to think that there was a time in history when people would sit by their landlines to wait for a phone call. Now everything is right there in the palm of your hand. But a phone is more than a phone these days; it's a way to constantly stay connected. And with all these social media sites looming around, it's hard to sometimes stay in the real world because everything seems doctored. Lives seem better than they are, a person looks a million times more attractive on their social media page but in real life that's a whole new story.
Deception is a big part of social media. Facebook, Instagram, you name it. Everyone wants to document their lives, even though it's more a facade of what they want their lives to be. Nobody wants to see unattractive, 'ugly' pictures so we edit. Edit so much that when we look at ourselves in the mirror that looks nothing like our profile picture on Facebook. There is nothing really wrong with wanting to look better and editing our pictures every now and then but the level it has risen to is astonishing. Maybe it feeds our insecurities or maybe we are just so self absorbed and doctor our images so we get thousands of likes and great comments on how good we look. But really, is that what we really look like?
Having constant internet access has been amazing for everyone. Connectivity has never been so easy but the amount of time we spend staring at our phones instead of enjoying our immediately surroundings has created an atmosphere where it is easier to make contacts instead of actual friends. Sefies have become a norm and people even die trying to take the perfect selfie. How about instead of trying to stress out taking a perfect picture of a sunset, we actually just sit there and enjoy it, instead of recording a live concert we just enjoy the music. It's understandable that people want to relive moments by capturing them but at the expense of not enjoying the moment. That seems to defeat the purpose of the memory. So has the memory also been doctored then?
There was a point of time when pictures would be specifically put in albums but now every phone having a camera. Pictures have become so dispensable. We keep retaking pictures of ourselves till we get one which is 'perfect' and also highly unrealistic. Nobody uploads untouched photos anymore. Photoshop has become a way of life. It's not just us everyday people who do all this, but celebrities ranging from Rihanna to Kim Kardashian doctor their images and bodies to seem better looking and fitter. Calvin Klein recently did an underwear ad where Justin Beiber's body was 'enhanced' to look better. If big companies use such editing and retouching tools to manipulate pictures of people who are already so attractive, what hope is there for us normal looking folks? All this false advertising creates low self esteem and we feel unnecessarily pressured to lose weight which then leads to serious detrimental choices such as anorexia and bulimia. We have this picture in our heads that most fashion magazines and houses have created. It is the perfect skinny body with perfectly symmetrical features. It is so unrealistic but we seem to believe what we see. It's ridiculous because no matter how beautiful Beyonce is, 'real' Beyonce doesn't really look like the one we see on magazine covers. Curves are made curvier and every inch of cellulite that is visible to the normal eye has been re shaped.
It's so easy to learn to be a Photoshop pro. All you have to do is type it in and there will be a world of websites giving you a step by step guide on how to beautify your images. It seems crazy this entire obsession with looking our best on social media platforms. All the filtering and editing and the number of apps we have on our phones to retouch images. There are even phones that have inbuilt beautifying apps to help us look our "best, beautiful" selves. We spend so much of our time online so maybe that's why we doctor our images so much since people will probably remember our profile picture more than they remember our actual faces.
It's now a new world where what you see is really not what you get.
by Jessica Passah
The views reflected in this piece are that of the author and need not necessarily be that of TNT-The Northeast Today