Mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds is a task that is emotionally taxing. Yes, I will occasionally come across an enjoyable cat meme or perhaps a strangely amusing photoshopped picture. But more often than not the majority of my feed consists of pictures of people who are traveling the world, doing yoga at the crack of dawn, or diving off cliffs.
Looking at these outwardly perfect online personas that others create for themselves is discouraging and it makes me feel like I can barely pull my life together. And I know I’m not alone in this feeling. By allowing ourselves to scroll through those feeds, we feel as though other people are doing more useful things with their time. It’s so easy to forget that these images of perfection are not always fully authentic representations of others’ lives.
Sometimes it is utterly exhausting to maintain a persona of perfection. As I fill out my college applications, I have to say – I am beginning to feel the fatigue. It is quite a task making yourself sound more impressive than you really are without straying from authenticity. Colleges want applicants to present themselves in an authentic way but at the same time it is exhausting to keep up with their expectations of high test scores, a good GPA and involvement in multiple extracurricular activities. It’s hard to be authentic but at the same time showcase yourself in the best possible light and I’m growing tired of straddling this fine line.
I think once in awhile it can be beneficial to let go of all this pressure, to just ignore what we fear others may think of you, to share your whole self – no matter how unpolished this version of you may be – and to embrace radical authenticity.