Feeling the pressure to be #Insta-really-honest-about-the-fact-that-we’re-not-famous?
For as long as we have been on the earth, telling fellow humans about our adventures has been a huge part of our social relationships. From paintings on stone walls showing a really ace wooly mammoth hunt by cave people to updating our Instagram accounts with photos of our breakfast, we just love to fill others in our lives.
Since the invention of social media, more and more focus has been on documenting our lives online. Often there is pressure to present a life to others that seems almost movie-like in its perfection. In reality, life doesn’t work that way. And now the internet seems to be fighting back.
In contrast to the picture perfect moments that usually fill our screens, we are now sharing the moments in our lives that are far from perfect, and laughing along with them. Some writers call this ‘self-deprecation’ (please note, this article has strong language), which is about being quite honest about the fact that we all have shortcomings, and that’s totally ok!
Remember that perfect Christmas present that you tried to make for your Grandma, which Pinterest told you was easy and needed no DIY skills? You thought it’d be a great idea, until the final product looked like a toddler had gone wild with some M&Ms, fairy lights and a glue gun. Well, the new craze is posting your not-so-perfect creation on social media under the hashtag #nailedit… people love it! Imperfection is the new perfection, with a new wave of social media fails which include sites on which users can share their misfortunes and cringiest moments.
In particular, these days it’s about posting about the BNI (Big Night In) rather than the BNO (Big Night… you’ve guessed it… Out). We’re sharing what we watch on Netflix, using social media to interact with shows like Britain’s Got Talent, and JOMO (the joy of missing out) sums up how we feel about life. Contrary to those mates who post selfies in the gym, now we blooming love that post-pizza glow and Saturday night sock selfie… Here at CEOP we find that the Earlybird Insta filter really captures that lazy pepperoni haze!
More recently, the problems with these squeaky-clean images have also been criticized because of the impact that they have on our mental health. Celebrities have also hit out at the false nature of social media, saying it was “not real life”. If us mere mortals spent our time taking hundreds of photos for that one perfect snap of our cheese on toast we’d never get anything done.
Let’s celebrate being honest and proud about our lives just the way they are, as that’s what makes us human. Whether you sing along to Barbara Streisand in the shower or like to dip gherkins in a McFlurry, recognizing and embracing our own unique quirks and random habits are just one part of having a good self-esteem. Everyone is prone to spots, trips, flails, fails. And all of those things are ok, even when they happen online!
Although self-deprecation can be part of being funny, be sure to laugh at yourself in a kind way, and balance any self-deprecating with a healthy dose of acknowledging the things you are good at and the people that care about you.
Always remember to be aware about what you share and consider your digital footprint when posting any pictures, and follow our golden billboard rule to keep yourself safe online.
Social media has its ups and downs. If you ever feel low or down because of something that happens online, there is always someone you can talk to. Speak to an adult who you can trust, or you can speak to Childline on 0800 1111.