Most of us love social media, it has to be said! With the average person spending an impressive 5 years and 4 months on social media throughout their lives, we're not just choosing to see what's going on in the world, but we're choosing how the world sees us too.
The photos we choose to upload on social media sites reveal a lot about us as people. Whether it be a selfie, recent holiday snaps, or a perfectly positioned picture of our calorific meal, it's not just employers who pay attention to images we choose to share online. Posting photos on social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, with many of us feeling a need to share everything we do with our online friends. But what do our choice of images actually say about us?
Let me take a selfie!
The word 'selfie' was named Oxford Dictionary word of the year in 2013. Doesn't this already reveal a lot about how recent generations choose to represent themselves online? By taking selfies we are choosing to express ourselves in a certain way, whether this be at a location we want to show off to the world, with someone we admire, or simply because we're looking our best, it's safe to say that our culture is becoming more and more selfie-driven. Often seen as a method of fulfilment, the number of 'likes' on our most recent selfie (although we might not choose to admit it) can boost confidence. Whether we're like lacking self-esteem in the first place, or just see it as a way to boost our ego, the selfie fuels this self-validation we seem to desire.
Check out the view
Scrolling through social media, it's hard to miss some of the amazing travel snaps that people on our friend lists share. We all do it. We almost feel a need to have to share our experiences with others. Is this our way of bragging? Or do we want to make sure all the friends we left behind feel like they were there with us? Either way, documenting our lives as we go, wherever go, is almost second-nature to a lot of people now. Many of us choose to 'check-in' to every stop on our journey. We like to keep others in the loop. We like to ensure that everyone back at home knows what we are up to. And we simply like to keep a record of our travels, for our own benefit and for the benefit of others...whether or not they actually care!
There's a lot of controversy over people who wear their active wear on a daily basis. Are they really going to the gym? The same goes for fitness photos; with an endless number of fitness accounts on Instagram, the number of perfectly poised fitness photos on social media has increased massively. Although studies show that individuals who post pictures of their gym-going antics are more likely to be narcissistic, this doesn't go to say we should feel ashamed to share our achievements online. Photos of us working out in the gym can be used as motivation to make progress, mark our goals and show off to the world how well we're shaping our health and bodies.
What has been seen cannot be unseen
Whether we like it or not, whatever photos we choose to upload build an image of us and our personality in other people. The photos are simply changing the way that others view us, especially those, who don't know us in person. So before posting another snap, it's worth asking, how do you want to be seen by others?