We live in a world of false realities. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all offer an alternate view of who we are as individuals. We can tweet spiritual tweets and show off our immaculate houses or perfectly cooked food on Instagram. We can either judge or feel judged as we scan our Facebook timelines, and Pinterest shows us how far we fall from perfection. Even posting "real photos" like a messy room or a not so flattering selfie are a far cry from showing the multifaceted and emotional life of a human being. We'll never give a true taste of our imperfections from a bad hair day or unfolded laundry.
The "reality" photos and statuses published are just as much a mask as the perfect happy posts we broadcast. Neither show our cyber friends who we really are. We are safe from vulnerability, risk of failure, and have complete control of the image we portray of ourselves.
A Humble Balance
In reality, people experience us and feel affected by us, and their experiences of us might be vastly different from what we would like to convey about ourselves. The people around us are like mirrors bouncing back the real image of ourselves to us.
What would our spouse say about us if he or she were off the iPhone? How would our children say we treat them if their mouths could talk in our Instagram photos? What would the telemarketer and saleslady Tweet about us? Would our flesh and blood neighbors say we are as good as social media says we are? Whether on social media or in real life, we tend to seesaw back and forth between false realities of ourselves. We either put on the mask of thinking too much or too little of ourselves. And in turn we portray this image to others.
On the low end of the seesaw we view ourselves as constant failures, we condemn ourselves, feel depressed about our lives, and are ashamed of who we are. The high end of the seesaw is boastful arrogance, self-righteousness, self-sufficiency, and selfish ambition. Trying to correct one side with the other side is self-defeating, because both sides are rooted in pride and self-focus.