My Virtual Self

My alarm goes off about an hour before my first class starts which gives me an hour to get ready, eat breakfast, and scroll through every social media app on my phone. The two apps I use the most are Instagram and Snapchat, and until recently, I had just considered these apps entertainment. They were just a fun way to keep in touch with my friends, but lately, it seems as though a lot of people have lost themselves to their virtual self.  Social media has become an addiction for our generation

On an average school day, I roll out of my house and into class in the classic t-shirt and shorts combo. Yet, when I thought about it, none of my pictures on Instagram have me in that classic college look. A lot of them are in makeup, a specifically chosen outfit with ideal lighting, and posing with friends at an event. But that’s not the everyday me. That would be my virtual self.

Everyone has a virtual self, and for a majority of people, it’s completely unintentional most of the time. Of course, you want to look your best in pictures, who doesn’t? The thing is, your everyday life is what’s real, NOT your virtual life. The real you doesn’t come with a frame you look best in. There’s no lighting crew that follows you around so your photos accentuate your highlighter just right for the best image. And while a lot of us use Instagram for fun, there are some that need the compliments and affirmations they receive from a picture they’ve posted...well, that’s the dangerous and unhealthy part of social media, because your opinion of yourself is the one that matters most.  

Social media is fun and entertaining, but there comes a point where it crosses the line between reality and fantasy. When your only form of communication with people is your virtual self through a Snapchat or a double tap on Instagram, you lose the human connection that you need to build relationships. My goal is to not check social media when I first wake up anymore, it’s simply become a habit, to be honest, and I’d much rather be present in my own world as I start my day than someone else’s.  To wake up, check Instagram, and instantly feel inferior is no way to live. We should wake up grateful and thankful for everything that we have and who we are as individuals.

Social media is not evil, but it can be if we don’t see how easily it can manipulate us. We can’t give technology the power to make us feel bad about ourselves because of what we see others doing, or what they look like in their virtual life (cue the lighting).  From now on, I’m choosing to live my real life, not a virtual one. I’ll still post pictures with my friends but social media won’t be the first thing on my mind, my happiness will be.