Damn. That's a lot of loaded questions, and I'm sure one could come up with an undergraduate thesis addressing these modern day phenomena. As for me, I'm happy to just write about myself, and share how I'm "different" from how I come across on social media. So stay tuned for a few major ways that I portray myself differently on social media based on what I'm like IRL. And a hint of truth in those lies.
I'm Messy AF
Everybody likes a crisp, clean Instagram flat lay with everything arranged just-so. Even the more cluttered portraits show a sort of beautiful chaos, everything with its purpose of beauty or functionality. I'm no exception to this rule: I love taking flat lays with various themes, shoes and perfume and makeup asunder, and will spend an embarrassing amount of time arranging everything to my liking. In reality, however, my room is a mess!
Naturally, nobody likes to see a disgusting mess of a room on social media, so I feel like this is understandable to hide. At the same time, I find it funny that the only time I'll be bothered to declutter my desk or clean/make my bed is for the sake of the gram. And just outside the borders of the image, chaos reigns supreme, unfolded laundry sits in a heap atop my bed, various beauty products mark a trail along the floor, and nothing is in its intended spot.
This might be blasphemy coming from a self-purported fashion blogger who has way too many clothes... But in reality, I rarely dress up, and most of the time only for the sake of photos! In fact, up until I was 18 I would not go near a dress, or the color pink, or high heels, or anything too feminine. At least I got over that phase of my life. I got really into fashion during my four years at college, and dressed up a lot more then because, well, there were more social events and I had more of a life. And everybody at Vanderbilt was so well-dressed, so there was this societal pressure as well. I also had income at the time. So, uh, things happened to my checking account and closet. Anabolic things.
Now that I'm in medical school, in the rotation part of it at that, at work I wear the same daily "professional outfits" that I don't care about getting dirty. And the rest of the time, I am usually in gym clothes because I possess this delusion that I will somehow get to the gym that day (sometimes it works). Even when I go out in public. Even on the weekends! Now don't get me wrong, if there were more events or parties to go to, I definitely come through, but that's a rare occurrence nowadays. So when do I get to wear my cute clothes? When I purposefully go out to take photos of myself in cute clothes. I would feel more guilt about this, but I think this is more of a testament to my lack of a social life than anything else.
My impression of social media is that we all put on this face of not caring about work, living for the weekend, having a carefree life full of beautiful things. Even when I say I do not care about rotations and just want Friday to come, I actually have often crippling amounts of anxiety about my performance or what people think about me and how it will affect my future. I do live for the weekend, but at work I tend to be meek and insist on staying even when I'm not necessarily needed.
In general, I'm a lot less carefree and positive than what I portray to thousands of people who don't know me. Does that surprise anybody? I think under the surface we all struggle with ourselves, sometimes it's depression or anxiety or difficult life situations that we can't easily present without making ourselves vulnerable.
Personally, I have always had somewhat of a negative outlook. However, strangers don't want to hear you complain or pontificate on how things will go wrong, because it will resonate with them and negatively affect them. That's something I'm starting to realize through attempting to look into the more positive side of things, that positivity can sometimes be recharging, motivating, refreshing for people who need it. On the other hand, dealing with a stranger's negativity can be emotionally draining, especially if they're broadcasting it to the entire world. Which is why even though I am at nature a somewhat negative person, I recognize the value to myself and others of putting forth a more positive (while still acknowledging that not everything is perfect and everybody has struggles) and motivating persona. This is a "lie" I can definitely get behind.
What part of who I am on Social Media, then, is true?
I Love Exploring New Places
Part of what's fun about documenting your life is that it gives you excuses to do things you love doing anyways, such as exploring new restaurants, coffee shops and cities' local flavor. That's something I enjoy doing no matter what, and I'm glad social media gives me an outlet with which to justify more food adventures and travels.
I Love Styling Outfits
Though I don't always get around to actually wearing the outfits, I love creating combinations and ensembles in my head. I enjoy coming up with the outfits the most compared to actually wearing and shooting everything. Learning to use and reuse what I have in new and different ways is really satisfying!
Let me know some ways that you hide/reveal yourself on social media in the comments below!
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