As we know, perception is everything; especially in the world of social media. In terms of perception, we all have an ideal self. We all wish to maximize our careers, our profession, and aspire to be like those who we find most successful. As the use of social media continues to evolve; the concept of presenting our ideal selves versus our real selves has become more and more prevalent on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn.

As research suggests, your “real self” is what you are – your attributes, your characteristics, and your personality. Your “ideal self” is what you feel you should be; much of it due to societal and environmental influences. From a societal standpoint, many of us are driven by competition, achievement, and status; hence, the creation and portrayal of our ideal selves.

Social media acts like a mask that allows people to hide from themselves — hide who they really are. They don’t have to face the shadow’s of their soul and character because they can swim in a fabricated facade of enabling delusional people. But that’s also the beauty of it, you can be whoever you want to be and via that freedom maybe you can even help find yourself (whatever ‘finding yourself’ means). But more often than not social media exposes addictive fickle tendencies in an already fractured person who likely needs to sit alone by a river and just…listen.

Depending on how damaged you, are tools like social media can either repress authenticity or expose it. Embracing the many light and dark sides of your ‘Self’ is a gateway to learning who you really are, what you’re capable of and expressing that ‘Self’ with authenticity. When you get stuck in over-consumption the opinions, thoughts and influences of others get mixed and confused with who you are.

“When you’re not in touch with YOUR OWN tastes, desires, impulses, what makes you different, what makes you unique, you are alienated from the one basic reality — who you are.”

“If you’re constantly listening to what other people are saying and sharing on social media — if you’re plugged into the matrix continually and that’s you’re only reality then really what you’re doing is you’re never understanding who you are. What you see when you look in the mirror, then becomes a reflection of all the opinions of other people, so you become a reflection of other people [which serves to] alienate yourself from yourself. Being alienated from yourself is a deeply depressing experience.”

“Living in the matrix world of social media and all the fantasies you don’t really have to confront yourself, you don’t have to deal with your own demons, weaknesses and flaws and consequently, you pay a terrible price. But the principle source of the problem is people are running away from themselves and on social media, that process is greatly accelerated.”