Opinion: Filters and edits sugar coat reality on social media

File Photo: Zach McKinley / The Daily Gamecock

Nowadays when you scroll through any social media app, your feed is filled with images that obviously have been edited and tweaked to the utmost capacity. The use of filters, contrast and other edits are outlets for creativity but is overusing this altered reality healthy for them and their followers? 

The society in which we live seems to have an obsession with broadcasting our every move and making it appear as if we lead perfect lives. Seemingly effortless but obviously edited selfies, “flawless” beach portraits and even impeccable group shots are mass produced daily. I personally find it troubling that we have the ability to physically alter every photo we take and drastically change what our authentic self looks like to portray a life that we do not lead. 

We should be able to find a healthy balance between having a cute and well-organized feed but maintaining a realistic self-perception. 

I personally have struggled with the issue of wanting the “picture-perfect life” and know countless others who have had difficulty as well. It is not normal for every single day to be a great one. Photographs you post should represent what you look like in actuality and include things that actually matter to you, not what you think will make you popular. There is a substantial difference between having a well-kept profile and a page full of falsehoods. 

Often times people seek to maintain a happy-go-lucky social media persona, which, while totally understandable, is dangerous by ignoring the harsh realities that life can bring. We all face trials and tribulations, and should be more open with one another. I personally find it important to celebrate our highs, but also recognize and validate our lows.

There should be more conversations about the issues that we face individually but can tackle collectively. Social media, if used properly, can be an amazing tool to connect people and help create understanding. Instead of using this potentially beneficial resource to promote ideals of perfection and superficialness, we should start using it to share our truths.

We should not feel the need to hide behind filters and fake smiles all day, every day. We should feel comfortable with being who we truly are in person — and online — flaws and all. I know plenty of individuals who are too afraid to post images of what is truly important or unique to them in order to keep with the status quo. It is okay to be different and stand out. Until we can possess a truly authentic life view, our perception of ourselves and others will be negatively impacted. 

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