Perceptions of perfection
IN TODAY’S world we are inundated with information. Whether it’s about people, places or things, we have access to data 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While this sounds great in theory, should we dig a little deeper to validate the source? Do we ask where it comes from? Do we even care anymore? In this information age, stepping back to get some perspective on what we are consuming can impact how we react to information when it is presented to us.
Let’s face it, as a society we are obsessed with our phones. We try to convince ourselves that it’s necessary, as the phone is the key provider of instantaneous news and updates. The truth is, we need to abandon this false narrative that consuming media equals staying informed. That’s not why we do it, most of the time. It’s because we are addicted to it. It’s also the fear of missing out, or ‘FOMO’ to the younger generation.
A recent British study revealed the average smartphone user clicks, taps or swipes on their phone 2,617 times a day. But wait for it, there’s more — the top 10% of phone users are guilty of more than 5,000 interactions with their phone daily. And yet we often complain that we can’t find 20-30 minutes in a day to exercise.
We have been introduced in recent years to the phenomenon that is social media. Social media can sometimes feel like a numbers game, but at the end of the day, it should be a tool we use to simply communicate. Why then do we become so concerned with how many people like our posts, how many new followers we have, or how many views our videos receive?
Worryingly, the lines between reality and the ‘social media world’ are becoming increasingly blurred. For younger people, especially, it is important to realise that social media can create a false sense of reality. The dark side of social media relates to the perception of perfection.
Many of us are guilty of it, for example taking 27 selfies to find the “right angle” that shows us in the best light.
From fabulous meals to dream getaways; Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are filled with the “sensational” version of everything. However, it’s only a portion of the story. Take social media for what it’s worth and understand that behind the perfection are flaws. Remember a person’s social media page shows their highlights reel, you do not get to see behind the scenes.
The ease with which we can edit and manipulate our social media accounts proves that any of these sites allow us to create a version of ourselves, to how we want to be seen, a false perception if you will. We do so, to increase that feeling of acceptance or sometimes self-worth and it’s intrinsically linked with the number of likes and followers gained on our social platforms. Don’t mix up who you are, with your ‘social media self’. Do not take social media validation as a sign of your value, worth or your contribution to society.
Sometimes we can become overwhelmed by social media and the constant pressure to be perfect. We can also become frustrated with our social media presence, wanting more followers and notifications. If this arises, take a breather. Sometimes we all need to step back from the social media world and live purely in the real world.
Personally, I wish everyone would post a little more about their challenges and their ‘not so good days’ too. We see all the amazing moments, but it’s only a snippet of the truth. Behind the fabulous holiday was the hours of packing, fighting with the other half at the airport, delayed flights, crap meals and overpriced hotel rooms. These are the in-between moments that we rarely post about.
Perspective is how you see the world, perception is how the world sees you. Get some perspective on what is important — being your real self.