Freshman voice: The social media mask

Freshman voice: The social media mask

“Decorated on the outside but empty at my core.” I was listening to a song titled “Dinosaur Bones” by Stop Light Observations when I came across this line. I had never heard the song before, but this line stood out to me. It made me think about the mask that every person adorns. In today’s society, we create an artificial identity. We are afraid of people seeing our empty and imperfect sides, so we use social media to transform ourselves.

Upon consideration, this initial thought lead to a web of ideas. It got me thinking about people who consistently hide behind their artificial identities. I watch shows like “Catfish” on MTV and see how easy it is for people to transform themselves, and how quickly people fall for it. This television comparison led to another show metaphor where people’s social media pages become like house renovations on HGTV. There are episodes where they completely gut the house and after the renovation it looks entirely different from the original. Then there are episodes where they do just a simple renovation like painting the walls or redoing the kitchen cabinets, but this is still an upgrade. People are the same on social media. There are people that completely renovate themselves to where they are not the person they say they are, and there are people that just give themselves a simple upgrade.

This is my “most liked” photo on Instagram. We look so “goals” right? I promise that is not always the case! (Photo by Hannah Broder)

Why does it matter?

After all of my considerable overthinking, I discovered why these thoughts had any significance. I realized that every time I scroll though social media, I end up deeply stalking someone (we all do it). When I come across a model’s page, I start scrolling through her photos and comparing myself. I see her body, all the amazing places she has travelled, how successful and breathtaking she seems. Then I look at myself in the mirror and see my uneven skin, frizzy hair and occasionally yellow teeth. I think about my life and remember that I have never travelled far and that I am a broke college student who barely knows what she wants for her future.

Then I really consider those thoughts and realize how truly irrelevant and negative they are. Why compare myself to these edited, upgraded and decorated individuals when I am blessed with just being Mara? It is amazing how one line in a song caused me to completely reevaluate not only the way I see myself, but also the way I view social media.

I have officially decided to share my truth. When I want to make a post onto social media, it will only be shared for my personal benefit. I post what I want to, when I want to and I will share the truth behind my posts. I have decided to look into that model’s posts, and all others like her’s, and acknowledge their decorated outsides. Their lives are not perfect. Neither is mine, and neither is anyone else’s. Take off your mask. It is time for us to no longer allow social media to make us feel empty on the inside, but instead decorated internally and externally.

 

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Authored by: Mara McCloy

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Sharon Reichard at 3:20 pm

    This is amazing and deep. You have talent Miss Mara. Keep up the good work and you will know what you want your future to be, sooner than you think.

  2. Dan Reichard at 5:19 pm

    What is more interesting about your article is that you discovered something about yourself in introspection. Too many young adults learn too late in their life, on the great stage of life, who and what they are, they try to live like someone else that they are not. An old cliché is still a good adage: To thy own self be true.

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