Glorified Facebook Picture ­ Money well-spent? Or a lie short-lived?

23 Apr 2012 | Youth Affairs | By Ridhima Kalra

Youth’s fixation for perfect facebook profile pictures is known to all. Why this semblance? Make the world respect you for the person you are. And if they cannot, well, too bad for them!

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Today’s youth lead two different lives. One is their regular, day-to-day life and the other is their Facebook life. No matter what chaos is present in the actual life, the Facebook life should always be prim and proper... should be perceived perfect by the rest. That’s the game and those are the rules. And what defines that perfection? Simple; their profile picture and the other photos! The limits they cross to reach that perfection? Read on.

For every youth, the pressure from the society/peers of ‘fitting in’ is getting more intense by the day. It’s no longer just fun and frolic anymore; the kids have gone professional. They have made it their life’s mission to make everyone’s perception of them, a reality.  There’s no boundary to this game... no method to this madness. Now, Facebook being the biggest social networking site is their forum to portray their ‘awesome’ life. Did you know there is a category/article on about ‘How to make your life seem awesome on Facebook?’ This is as ridiculous as the mirage of virtual reality could get. Facebook was supposed to be a medium to find long lost friends or make new interesting ones. And not for portraying a lie, just to be ‘accepted’. The youth spends hours on their photos to get them photoshopped, which more often than not seem ‘oh-so-absolutely-perfect’. Why is it needed at all? Your friends clearly know who you are, and would understand that your picture is not real. And if you trying to impress a cute boy/girl, isn’t it best to not start any relationship based on a lie? Irrespective of this all, the youth even go to the limit of getting a professional portfolio done. And the funny part is, they have no interest to in modelling or acting. The portfolio is clicked solely for the purpose of enhancing the Facebook lie. Would it hurt a lot to just be yourself? It’s unnecessary wastage of money, time and so much more. Everybody knows! It’s not that difficult to distinguish a real photo from the one that’s been airbrushed. Then why the hassle?

Each individual is different and unique in their own way. Each one has their own little quirks that make them stand out from the rest. But nowadays, all that doesn’t matter. Everyone is out to become a clone of someone or the other. “She’s so pretty; I want to be just like her”, “Look at his muscles, man; I gotta have the same ones” ­ these are some of the commonest ideas going on in our youth’s mind. For such souls, grass is unapologetically greener on the other side. Quite disdainfully, they fail to see the beautiful lilies in their own garden. Often, they are so consumed by this thought of leaving an impression on others, that they don’t realize the futility of their actions. So what if they can’t be like their ‘idol’ in real life; there’s Facebook and so much more. Forgetting their identity, they adorn themselves with someone else’s. That is so not cool if coolness for them had a positive correlation with having a functional brain.

One thing should be understood ­ the society would judge you no matter what: this way or that; in a righteous way or diabolically. They would persevere to find that one crack to control your actions, and would often extrapolate a small detail into your complete story, immaterial of the fact that it’s true or not. So don’t live for the society. It changes with changing times.  Be loved and respected for who you are. Because that is the reality; the one people would remember long after you are gone. Your fake self would die with an inactive account on Facebook. But the real you, if you want, can live on forever. Just be yourself.

Interesting news surfaced a couple of days back. Facebook bought Instagram, a photo sharing service, for $1 billion. They agreed to pay a whopping 30% in cash and the rest 70% in stock. A living proof of Facebook cashing in on the youth’s crazy need to glorify their pictures. Now, most pictures that have been shared or put up on the page have been ‘Instagramed’.  It’s a cool service; but seriously, do all the pictures have to go through that? Can’t some part of them be kept real, fresh?

The rising need of being accepted by the society and the people in it is costing a lot of youth their self- esteem.  So entangled are they in these cobwebs of rejection, that anything would be done to break free. But getting an expensive portfolio clicked – just for the purpose of flashing it online –doesn’t make any sense. There are other ways of being accepted; Mother Teresa and Dalai Lama are not exactly known and accepted for their model good looks.

This one life... this one chance! Show to the world who you truly are. Make them respect you for the person you are. And if they cannot, well, too bad for them! Each one of us, somewhere deep within, lives at least one lie daily. Be it at a job they don’t like, a family they don’t fit in, a marriage that’s not working, a relationship that’s gone sour, a lost friend and so many similar things. Is losing yourself and your identity worth all the extra anguish, when we daily live through a lot anyway? Think about it.

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.Jim Morrison

If the above quote defines you, it’s time, friend; time to make some changes... time to be totally free... time to be you. 

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