// The Tainted Perception of a Filtered Reality //

 

I want to genuinely apologize if I’ve ever conveyed the impression that my life is perfect. I really mean that.

Let’s just clarify, I most certainly am not perfect, nor is any aspect of my life, for that matter. That’s the truth- the cold, hard truth. It stings to admit honestly, because who doesn’t daydream of attaining at least some level of perfection, right? Admit it. Life would be so much simpler if everyone and everything was… well… you know… perfect. A quintessential world without flaw – a utopia, if you will. Wow. Okay, now if you would kindly direct your attention back to reality. Here’s the truth, ladies and gentlemen. Perfection simply doesn’t exist outside of our merciful and gracious Savior. I fail and falter every day. I wish I didn’t, believe me; but, alas, I consistently find myself incapable of measuring up. As I mature in Christ, He will mold me to resemble Him more and more each day, but until the rapture of the Church, I will always struggle, I will always sin, and I will never be perfect, despite what my Instagram feed might look like.

You see, perfection isn’t found in a cohesive and colorful news feed, aesthetically pleasing coffee drinks, or advantageous lifestyles. Perfection isn’t defined by size zeros, popularity, or stylish clothing. Perfection isn’t achieved with prodigious homes, expensive cars, or lavish jewelry. Perfection ceases to exist in this sinful world, regardless of the preconceived notions that we ( the human race ) have adopted. Despite what may be portrayed on social media websites, no one is perfect. Why? Because perfection incontrovertibly doesn’t exist.

It’s remarkably easy to perceive others’ lives through the distorted lenses of a filter, an Instagram filter, that is. I can assure you, however, that quite a but of effort is manufactured to create the seemingly ‘effortless’ feeds that plague our social media sites. In fact, there are a few components of reality that seem to be missing from the photo above. For instance, I ate quite a large breakfast ( a girl’s ‘gotta’ eat, right? ) Well, I actually brought a back up plan. That’s girl code for : I ate way too much, my pants are too tight, so I packed a stretchy skirt to change into. I also cropped out an overflowing trash can in the righthand side of the picture. What you see is the edited, revised, and altered copy of what was my reality.

” Ugh, why is she so gorgeous? Why can’t I look like her?”

“No way. He’s traveling out of the country… again? No fair.”

“Wow, they seem popular. Look at all those likes.”

^ Our misconstrued viewpoints  on the lives of our friends, more appropriately, the lives portrayed on the web, can be increasingly harmful in more ways than one. However, if we’re honest with ourselves, painfully honest- we’ve all been there; and  I’m undoubtedly no exception.

As we scroll through snapshots into the lives of followers and friends alike, remaining faithful in constant ‘refreshes’ and consistent ‘likes and comments,’ we inadvertently covet the lifestyles portrayed by others. In fact, most times, we’re completely oblivious to this childlike impulse. That is, until we experience the ramifications that are obligated to follow. We log off, and suddenly, we no longer are content in our current situations. We find ourselves dissatisfied and jealous because while we might be having a relaxing day at the ‘ole homestead, our friend Matt ( I actually don’t have a friend Matt- funny story) might be climbing Mt. Everest. Or so we presume. He did upload a relatively legitimate photo with a mountain in the background, so that’s fairly official, I guess. (sarcasm)

I once read somewhere that social media encourages us to compare our absolute worst with someone’s absolute best. After giving this statement some considerable thought, I personally believe that it’s undeniably accurate. We equate someone’s refined, airbrushed, and filtered perspective of life to reality. Honestly, that method just isn’t feasible.

I want to be brutally honest with you; I want you to know that regardless of what my Instagram feed may look like, my life isn’t always ice cream and flowers. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying here. I live a very blessed life that I most certainly do not deserve, and I’m incredibly thankful for- but irregardless, my life is not perfect. I have days when I feel down. I have days when I feel stressed. I have days when I feel lonely and less than. I have days when I get angry and frustrated. I have days when I would prefer to stay in bed… definitely not all day or anything like that… because that would be totally absurd… pssh. No, but seriously, guys. Please don’t ever surmise that my life is a constant party abounding with road trips, sunny days, and endless fun because it’s not. Why? Well, I’m not perfect.

The majority of my clothes have been purchased at my local thrift store… on half price day. They’re nothing fancy or insurmountably expensive and lavish, but that’s okay. I’m lightyears away from being a size zero. But you know what? That’s alright. I drive my mom’s mini van. Now don’t mistake me, by no means am I complaining, it’s actually a pretty sweet ride, if I do say so myself; but I’m not driving an expensive or fashionable car, and that’s just fine. I only have a few close friends. My group is pretty small, but I like it that way. I’m actually incredibly shy. If I don’t approach you, I promise it has nothing to do with you, you probably just intimidate me. I would love to be perpetually outgoing, but I’m not, and that’s not a problem. I battle insecurity. I don’t always perceive myself with the confidence that I should. It’s something that I need God’s strength to overcome, and that’s more than alright. I also struggle with impatience. Seriously, I absolutely despise traffic lights and lines… don’t even get me started on lines. My skin doesn’t always resemble the way it appears on camera. Believe me, I get pimples. In fact, the other day, I actually had a pimple inside of my nose. Yep, it hurt, and yeah, it totally resembled a ‘booger.’ Cute, right? Oh, how could I forget to mention that my youth choir was performing in front of the entire church that day. Despite this minor setback – because, yes, in the scheme of life, this is a very minor setback- it truly doesn’t matter. Why? Because everyone gets pimples inside of their noses at some point, right? (Please tell me I’m not the only one.) * insert awkward cricket chirping sound effect here.* Also because I was singing for the Lord, not the people in my church.

The point is, we all have flaws. That’s what makes us…well, us. Embrace it, and remember this insanely lengthy blog post the next time you may find yourself falling prey to social media’s impossible expectations. You’re blessed. You have a great life. There’s no need to compare it to someone else’s; instead, live it- and live it abundantly. 

With Love,

– Delaney.

 

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