Created by WS-71, 2015

Facebook Image Crafting

A modern phenomenon

Modern society is influenced by new technologies. Nowadays we can not imagine a world without internet and mobile phones. So social media became very important in the last few years. And with facebook and all these platforms there appeared a modern phenomenon called “image crafting”. It is defined as the act of carefully and deliberately constructing one’s social media content to control the way others view their life.

As a result, our social media feeds read like a modern-day fairy tale, where every moment is wondrous, every interaction with our family is more precious than the last and almost everything is a magical experience, which needs to be shared on facebook. Don’t we all wish our lives were actually as amazing as they appear in our social media feeds? It’s normal to want to put our best face forward. Most people understandably won’t share the bad, sad and lonely moments in our lives and our pride and insecurities simply won’t allow it.

But image crafting isn’t just about filtering only the good news. It’s about building a carefully constructed image that isn’t authentic, truthful, or even realistic. Of course it does look good on paper, which is exactly why we do it. It feels good to project this above-average version of yourself and your life into the world. You garner the admiration, praise, and envy of your social media network. You feel validated, your sense of self-worth and your self-esteem safe for yet another day. Social media creates a world where most people present an inflated version of their own existence. The problem is that everything what everyone else is doing is very out in the open.

Why is it so dangerous?

Everybody’s life seems to be perfect on facebook and it makes it really hard to feel like your imperfect life is good enough. Image crafting tells society as a whole that this perfect vision of life is not only attainable, it’s the norm.

Comparison is the thief of joy, and constantly comparing yourself against a carefully crafted ideal is a recipe for jealousy, disappointment, and malcontent. The problem is that it felt pretty satisfying before you checked facebook. Nobody’s life is that perfect, but everyone’s collective image crafting makes it hard for society as a whole to develop and project more authentic expectations. Your sense of self-worth hangs on the balance of the feedback you receive and every single day is a new opportunity to fail.

The people who chime in the most about their careers or private life are usually those whose careers or relationships are going the best, while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation. Because of our image crafting, we lose the opportunity to connect authentically with those we love. In result relationships become as fake.

This behavior is isolating. People feel like there is no way off, because they have image crafted so completely. The problem is that this feeling can cause serious health issues like depression. The modern society has slightly become a single society with identity problems.

Back to reality

Other people's grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today's image crafting world, other people's grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you'll never have any reason to envy others. So the advice is to ignore everyone else.

The bigger point here is that the qualities of annoying statuses are normal human qualities. Everyone needs to brag to someone here and there, everyone has moments of weakness when they need attention or feel lonely, and everyone has some downright ugly qualities that are gonna come out at one time or another.

People should lose the Ideal and start to be real. Social media is not the appropriate platform for every dirty detail and sad moments, but it does mean you have to be more true to yourself in public. Everyone should start to foster more in-person, authentic relationships. Get off your computer and spend more time with friends in real life. It’s easy to image craft online, but it’s nearly impossible to pretend your life is perfect when you’re face-to-face with someone who knows you well. And we should also be authentic in your relationships, both online and in person.

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