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What You See Is Very Rarely What Is Real and That’s a Problem

Authenticity is rarely used when describing social media. Behind those photos is a person looking for acceptance and meaning. You may not think so, but tell me how you felt when your last Instagram photo didn’t get enough likes and you quietly deleted it?

It’s such a small thing, right? But it isn’t. We crave attention; we want instant gratification in all things. Our social media habits are starting to bleed offline and infect us where life matters most: loving ourselves.

Loving ourselves…it’s a funny thing. You see, when we live for what happens online, we get further detached from the reality of what life is like offline. We are spending our nights looking at a screen. We are sitting with our friends in complete silence desiring to be somewhere else, with someone else. WAKE UP!

It’s becoming more and more commonplace to see headlines like this:

“Teen Instagram Star Quits Social Media to Live an Authentic Life”

Why? Because we can’t possibly keep up with this. Living behind the lens of a false pretense will, at some point, come full circle with who you are and who you want to be.

Essena O’Neill, the “social media star” who has quit altogether, stated why:

“Without realizing, I’ve spent [the] majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance,” she said. “Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real. How can we see ourselves and our true purpose/talents if we are constantly viewing others?”

How can we see ourselves and our TRUE PURPOSE if we are constantly viewing others? Wow, think about that.

Rest on that.

God has called each and every one of you to a purpose. Do you feel internally like you want something more? Is there a yearning inside that keeps coming up? That’s more than likely the Spirit pressing you. Don’t numb it by wasting time being someone you’re not.

Life is too short for that.

Essena posted a video on YouTube; due to her language we’ve elected not to post it here. But she goes on to explain that it’s all a business. If you’ve read Nicole’s book (which you can purchase here), you’re well versed in this by now. One thing that separates the Project Inspired community from so many others is that we want to be and are REAL. The people who write for this website never want to put up a front. We’re all real and genuine.

At Project Inspired we are a team who cares for you girls before clicks and advertising. Our traffic has fallen because we don’t need to cop out to it. We have to pay to show you content on Facebook. It’s a different world we live in. That is one of the reasons we’ve created a Project Inspired private group on Facebook for you to talk and be vulnerable with one another. You can join the group here. We know this community and want to connect with you in honest ways.

So what am I saying? Well, this is an assurance that we will continue to produce content that never is “fake” or done for money. Everything you see here is real. We will share the heartbreaks, the triumphs and everything in between because that’s what a community does.

We encourage you to think hard before you fall victim again to this social media thing. It can be done for good if we remove the falseness that it so often represents. Time will tell what all of this is doing to us as a society. We are still relatively early on the social media train.

I will end with this: The next photo you post, ask yourself “Is this really me or am I doing it for the likes?”

We can do this. We can be real.


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  1. Marcy

    Posted by Marcy on November 4, 2015 at 15:39

    I learned how true this can be from a couple pictures I photoshopped that my mom and I posted to her Facebook account for fun. I always knew that people post their best photos on Facebook (I mean, who’d really want to put up bad pictures or pictures of you doing something boring?) and that virtually everything you see in magazines is photoshopped, but I never really thought about photoshop as part of social media. Using a free photo editor (ipiccy.com), I mocked up several pictures, including one giving my mom what I call the magazine treatment (removing any blemishes and really removing enough of her skin that she looks kind of plastic). People believed the photo was the real deal. I still use photoshop to fix up photos and I’m not condemning enhancing pictures (I’ve been able to save a lot of photos with bad lighting conditions and things like that), but it was interesting to see peoples’ reaction to an unbelievably good photo. (She got comments about how people couldn’t believe how young she looked.)