Social Media: The Lie Of Perfection

Like we all do, for more time than we would like to admit - I was scrolling my news feed the other day and one comment on poor mental health in young people stood out from a woman in her 40’s.

‘I am so thankful I didn’t graduate college with Facebook and Instagram I can’t imagine what seeing everyone else doing all the time would have done to my psyche.’

To me, this comment sums up all that is wrong with social media. Apart from the dependency cycle, created by the dopamine hit that we get, with each like or follow that we receive, the real problem with social media is that it magnifies a troubling human tendency: to make our self-esteem provisional upon what others are doing and how we perceive ourselves in relation to others - as being either ‘better’ or ‘worse-off’.

Add to this problem the fact that most of us carefully curate our social media pages to reflect only the ‘best bits’ of our lives - and you find a situation where we are constantly comparing ourselves to fake images of perfection without even being conscious of it. What that does to our psyche -to our self-esteem goes on at an unconscious level but that Facebook commenter was referring to what can only be the outcome: a general lowering of the self-esteem of everyone.

The only way that you can move forward in life is to set powerful and motivating goals - but you will only set goals for yourself based on who you think you are, what you think you are capable of. This is why in our programmes we focus on self-esteem first and we are able to help young people see how loveable and capable they are actually, before they set their goals.

We understand the pressures that young people are under and we feel that our job is to remind them that they are unique and powerful and that they can create the lives that they deserve.

Rob Salter