Aren’t We All #MoreThanWhatYouSee?

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This is what most posts I see on Instagram look like:

Sample social media post, bad

Pretty pictures and clever captions are what make up almost my entire Instagram feed.

Social media platforms, like Instagram, allow us to keep up with friends and family and raise awareness for global issues ranging from plastic pollution in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the protests at the North Dakota Access Pipeline to the worldwide refugee crisis. In addition, Instagram is a perfect platform for artists to share what they create. However, all of these benefits don’t come without a cost. When scrolling through social media feeds, we’re only ever seeing one piece of a whole picture. When using Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat, most people only post photos that display a highlight in their life. If we’re only being exposed to others’ highlights, are we perhaps ignoring the struggles and burdens that many of us go through and many of us share?

The perception of everyone else’s seemingly perfect lives might leave us feeling disappointed with our own lives or even alone in our struggles. Additionally, social media can sometimes leave us with a false sense of “connectedness.” I’ve even found this to be true in my own life. Often times, someone will ask me how so-and-so is doing, and I’ll be able to recount what his most recent Instagram photos displayed or something she posted on Snapchat. However, I then realize that that’s all I can say because I haven’t really spoken to that person, so I can’t provide any detail on how that person is actually doing. Yes, we can see what people are doing, photos that capture split seconds of their lives, but it too often ends there. Social media has the potential to make us feel like we’ve had a positive interaction with a friend but it doesn’t necessarily encourage us to take that interaction any further.

Caroline145Join me (Caroline) for the #MoreThanWhatYouSee Campaign!
Social media has become a part of the lives of anyone who owns a computer or smart phone and it has brought many good things into our lives. Since it is everywhere we look, I want it to make it a more welcoming and honest place. My goal for the #MoreThanWhatYouSee campaign is to build a community of honesty and authentic connection on social media.

The #MoreThanWhatYouSee Campaign

Here’s how to get involved! You can help create a space in social media full of meaningful connection and honesty by posting images with captions that give a little more insight into your life.

I’d like to challenge you to be a little more honest with yourself and your peers. In your social media posts on Friday, February 17, share something a little deeper, a little more honest. Your vulnerability might just encourage others to reach out and create more meaningful connections. Being open and vulnerable can be scary, but the benefits to it far outweigh that fear. You won’t be alone in being open on February 17, so tag three of your friends and challenge them to do the same!

Make sure to include the hashtag #MoreThanWhatYouSee. Here are some examples:

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Jen Sample Social Media PostKylie sample social media post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Author

Caroline is a member of the Roots & Shoots U.S. National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC). As a member of the NYLC, Caroline acts as a youth representative of the Jane Goodall Institute and works to make a positive change in her community — for people, animals and the environment. In addition to starting a campaign against the use of single-use plastics, she also enjoys the outdoors, playing the piano and is the president of her school's French Club.