A recent trend called #NOFILTER has taken over social media, and it gives us permission to embrace our authentic selves and skip the beauty enhancing filters.
Do you feel like you need to filter your life to present a particular persona on social media? Or do you know someone online and then meet up IRL and barely recognize them? If so you are not alone.
Today, I will discuss the damaging effects filters can have on our self-confidence, whether we use them or consume them, why we compare ourselves to others in the first place, and how to protect our self-confidence while we scroll.
What Happens To Our Brain When We Use Filters?
When we use filters, we tell ourselves that we aren't good enough the way we are. We are saying that our real lives aren't interesting or attractive enough to share without a bit of bit of help. And when we consume other people's filtered content, we compare our reality to their highlight reel and inevitably come up short. This is damaging to our self-confidence and our mental health.
So why do we do it? Why do we compare ourselves to others and put filters on our lives?
Why Do We Compare Ourselves?
There are a few reasons. First, social media is designed to be addictive. The algorithms that power these platforms are engineered to keep us coming back for more, and one of the ways they do that is by showing us content that we find visually appealing. We see so many perfectly-curated feeds full of beautiful people and breathtaking scenery.
Second, we compare ourselves to others because it's human nature. We want to know where we stand concerning our peers, and social media provides us with a never-ending stream of comparison opportunities.
Third, we live in a culture that values perfection. We are bombarded with messages telling us that we need to look a certain way, be a certain weight, and have perfect skin, hair, and teeth. It's no wonder we feel like we need to filter our lives when we're constantly being bombarded with these messages.
So, how do we protect our self-confidence and mental health in the face of all of this?
5 Ways to Protect Your Self-Confidence While You Scroll
Here are a few simple steps:
First: Unfollow any accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. Life is too short to spend time looking at content that makes you feel bad.
Second: Take a break from social media. If you're feeling particularly down about yourself, log off and take a break. Go for a walk, read a book, or spend time with friends and family. Do anything that will help you remember that there is more to life than what you see on your screen.
Third: Remember that everyone puts their best foot forward on social media, and no one is sharing the ugly parts of their lives, so don't compare your reality to someone else's highlight reel.
Fourth: Celebrate your unique beauty. Take a picture of yourself without a filter and post it with the hashtag #NOFILTER.
This will help you remember that you are beautiful just the way you are.
Fifth: Be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes and we all have things we don't like about ourselves. But that doesn't mean we aren't worthy of love and respect. Be gentle with yourself and remember that you are doing the best you can.
So, the next time you're feeling down about yourself when you are scrolling, remember these simple steps. They will help you protect your self-confidence and mental health in the face of the damaging effects of the filtered lives on social media. And who knows? Maybe you'll even start a revolution.
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