Am I only publicizing the glamorous life that my followers want to see or am I really living an authentic life and capturing it through photographs? Social media can be daunting for many – Instagram models are starving for attention both metaphorically and literally; fitness bloggers are overdosing on supplements and Creatine in order to capture that extra definition in their 8-pack abs; beauty queens are teaching others to feel beautiful even though they only feel beautiful with the assisted, blended strokes of a makeup brush. Then there are the fashion bloggers who are spending way out of their means so they can display their iconic designer bags and shoes in their public photo galleries. Is getting thousands of likes, comments, and millions of followers worth putting your life on pause, stunting the natural growth of moments in time in order to pose for a black box with a flash?
With the recent news of teenage Australian model Essena O’Neill, quitting social media for good, there is no doubt that she is among many other players in the game. Much like any Hollywood star, she was put under a tremendous amount of pressure to always look good, to appeal to herself and to the brands she represented. However, one day, she realized that social media approval of over a half a million followers (every upcoming star’s dream) on Instagram was not sufficient for her happiness anymore. The Instagram/social media life was eating her up inside, tearing away her true personality. That is why she left. She needed to find herself again and share her message with others.
Right now, I am lucky to say that because I have hopped on the blogging train much later than the first stars (such as Wendy from Wendy’s Lookbook and Chriselle Lim), I have been able to observe how one’s life can be taken away by social media. I’m not saying that I will never be in danger of becoming someone like Essena. Rather, I am saying that as much time as I am spending on social media, I am spending as much time assuring that the moments I am capturing are not erasing my life and instead adding to it. The moments that I am capturing through my Canon are a part of my life, a part of my passion, and I want to share that with the world.
I am not posting for the attention, for the followers, or for the comments. I am posting content because I want to and it feels right to. Getting attention from others is a side effect of the real purpose on why I blog in the first place. Do not get me wrong – I love some good feedback, but that is because I know that I have inspired someone to say something or to think in a different manner after reading my post. To know that I have inspired someone through my fashion style, my music, my words, and through me as an overall person is one of the most rewarding feelings. And to me, that is the source of my happiness – to help and inspire others.
Whether I have a small audience or a large one, it does not matter.
Addressing my blog post title, “Social Media – Am I Putting on Two Faces?” In the beginning of my experiences, I would have said yes. Now, I see that my two faces are merging into one, so that the answer is continuously leaning towards no. I am growing more and more each day and accepting that this will forever be a part of who I am.
With every post I create, I am simply taking a moment to capture and share that to the world. That is all.