Everyone will have a different answer to the ‘What defines who we are as a person’ and everyone will be defined in different ways. What I wanted to talk about in this blog is the notion that we are all now too worried about what people think of us and are we too caught up with the way we want ourselves to be defined to the outside World (who probably don’t even care), that we forget who we really are.
So, what defines who we are?
What job we have?
What we have achieved?
What we have done in our past?
How successful we are?
How people perceive us?
What we wear?
How we look and act?
What car we drive?
How many people follow us on Instagram/Facebook?
Whilst this is not an extensive list of potential things that may help to define who we are it raises some of the most common and thought-about topics. These are all things that people can be judged for, but do any of these really matter? Does it really matter what car we drive or the clothes we wear or how successful we are? The answer in short is NO! Well not to me anyway.
While I believe that some of the above will always play a part in how people see us and define us even if it is in a very shallow. They should not be the only reasons.
With the continued growth of social media, I believe the most common and most prominent way people, especially young people, believe they are defined and portrayed is by how they appear on social media, for example Facebook, but especially on Instagram.
For some reason it is now believed that the more followers you have on Instagram the better a human being you are and the more you are liked. While this would appear true as the more followers and ‘friends’ you have the more popular you feel, although this is so superficial as most likely 60% +, if not more, are not really your friends. Surely having real friends that you can communicate with is far more important? This appears untrue these days.
Recent studies have shown that young people are now getting so wrapped up in trying to portray themselves as the person they would like to be or who they think they should be via their Instagram account that is it having a negative impact on their life.
It is crazy to think that a social media channel like Instagram can have such an impact on young people and how they are perceiving themselves and how others are perceiving them, but why is this happening?
1. If you do not receive as many likes on a picture as you thought you should or your last one received, or your friends received, this can result in you feeling worthless and like no one is interested in what you are doing or likes you for who you are.
2. You scroll through hundreds and hundreds of photos wondering why you do not look as great as the person in the photo but what you forget to remember is they probably don’t even look like that either.
3. People start to question why their life isn’t as perfect as the ‘perfect’ life people portray on their profiles every day forgetting that they only post the highlights, like a big show reel.
These are just a few reasons but they can create a really superficial life which others strive to have which in fact is highly unobtainable and probably is not even like that for those portraying it.
People’s Instagram posts promote a life that is somewhat unreal and is perfect through filters and often posed and presented in a way that they wish you to view it. I guarantee that if you spoke to them in real life it probably is not anything like their real life.
So why do we let ourselves get so caught up in the way we want ourselves to be perceived? Because we want to be able to keep up with the wider community and world and feel we are liked and accepted by everyone. As a nation we like to be accepted and liked by as many people as possible even if they are truly not our friends and just imaginary numbers. This, however, is not healthy and I believe it needs to be addressed.
While it is good for business to have a whole bunch of friends and followers I strongly believe that our Instagram/Facebook pages should reflect who we really are and the ups and downs of life not just the ‘perfect’ parts. This is why when posting on Instagram and Facebook I like to post real and honest posts showing my life as honestly as possible. I often post videos of fails and days that have not been great when I have trained and also the ups and downs of life. The times I have struggled etc. I believe that it is important to show that everyone has bad days and sometimes we don’t look like we have just walked off a photo shoot.
I strongly feel that we should just be ourselves and If we are liked then that is great and if we are not then fine. You should be proud to be who you are and how you look and what you do. There is no need to look for acceptance or even chase it through promoting yourself how you feel you should to be accepted. Worrying about how people perceive you or what ‘defines’ you can lead to deep inner issues which are not always positive.
Always be yourself and be accepted for who you are! Never let the outside World pressure you into portraying yourself in a way you believe you should. Rather be accepted for being you and who you want to be rather than a person you are not.