I’m a reformed selfie-hater. It does get a bad rep of duck lipped and awkwardly angled posts seeming to stream endlessly one after another. Snapchat got me hooked with cute filters and just enough entertainment for a short attention span such as mine. The side effect was that I became less “judgey” about how I saw myself. Truthfully, when I have raccoon ears or a dog’s tongue, who am I trying to impress? After 30 days of selfies, every single day, here are five things I learned about myself.
- I am allowed to redefine the idea of beauty. There is something powerful about square after square of your face. You begin to see your mother in your smile and the fondness for it (and her) grows. You see your sister in your eyes and you smirk when you gaze at yourself because, in you, you see her. The repetition of her face begins to block out the mainstream push of all that is pale and frail until your eyes begin to seek for more of you in everything you see.
- My emotions are beautiful and allowed to be seen. Moments have been captured from the spiritual to the political and, for me at least, those moments are etched in the downturn of my lips, the glisten in my eyes. There is a freedom in being vulnerable and seen in these moments that can only be found behind the camera and not face-to-face.
- My words matter, to someone…I think. Whether #MotivationMonday or #WednesdayWisdom or just a Thursday early morning, the ability to share snippets of thoughts, prayers, meditations, and matters of the heart is beautifully freeing. The fact that it may encourage or empower someone else is the sweetest of side benefits.
- My struggles are both unique and universal. There are a lot of people who are navigating this life thing and it can be as simple as a bad start to the day or as complicated as a broken heart. No matter the issue, every single day as I swiped through my feed and others swiped through theirs, we muddle around the same swamp of Soul Stuff trying to figure it all out. My smile, stare, or frown is simply a punctuation to the everyday life being experienced by the soul behind the selfie.
- Finally, I belong. I belong to the great universal narrative of people who dream and purpose like me. There are artists, musicians, singers, actors, writer, bloggers, Believers, and all-around neat people who have congregated in this digital space. To greet them, meet them, follow them, and friend them is a wonderful validation that there are more like me than not.
What are your social media practices and how do you reconcile how you present yourself in the digital space?