Facebook campaign by Margo Gray
Our generation has mastered the art of perfection on social media. We share carefully constructed representations of our lives, glamorized and unblemished. Our “digitized” selves thrive socially, academically, and financially—they attend the best parties, eat at the trendiest restaurants, enjoy the most luxurious vacations. And through it all, they look effortlessly fantastic—toned, tan, well-dressed. Most importantly, they never struggle with mental challenges but rather are immune to feelings of stress, sadness, isolation, and anxiety. They ease through life with a smile plastered permanently across their faces.
Ironically, while we recognize the disparity between the reality of our own life and the carefully constructed version of it online, we often fail to do so with others. Instead, we take social media profiles at face value, unthinkingly assuming that everyone else lives a life of effortless perfection and interminable laughter. We question why everyone else has it all together all the time.
So, I want to make it clear that my mission is in no way to condemn social media or ask you to deactivate your Facebook account. Rather, I would like to use Facebook in an unconventional way —to send a message endorsing imperfection. I would like to remind you that the “people” you see on social media are merely highlight reels of life, no more than a compilation of “curated” photos.
In an age in which we are constantly bombarded by narratives of perfection, we must consciously work to foster an environment in which we feel comfortable to struggle and answer honestly when asked “how are you?” This is undoubtedly a lofty goal and one that will not happen overnight. My plea, however, is that we begin to recognize the stigma of mental health in ourselves so that we can ultimately fight it together. #FightTheStigma #ChampionMentalHealth