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Deceptive Imaging: Social Media and
It’s Significant Role in Self-Image


There are several quotes that talk about beauty and the way it’s perceived. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a famous quote by Margaret Wolfe Hungerford which was her way of saying that beauty is subjective, and it’s especially subjective in self-image.

That quote holds extreme weight when you have a positive image and perception of yourself, but it holds an even heavier weight for a beholder that doesn’t see the beauty in themselves. Unfortunately, people suffer from low self-esteem and poor self-image every day. There are several contributing factors that play a role in this lack of self-love.

In this digital day and age, social media has been a major contributor to low self-esteem and has been linked to higher levels of depression, jealousy, and narcissism.

How many times have you logged into your social media account and seen your friends living their life to the fullest (seemingly)? They’re going on lavish vacations, in these great relationships, and in the best shape of their life… They’re living the life you should be living… When you see those posts, how does it make you feel?

Behavioral scientists like to call those types of posts the digital version of “keeping up with the Joneses,” simply because those posts only highlight the positive aspects of a person’s life… behavior scientists also call those posts “highlight reels.” According to the Huffington Post, 60% of people using social media report that it has impacted their life in a negative way.

That reason alone is why it’s so important to balance your social media consumption to protect your mental health.

Social media is the poster child for “everything isn’t as it appears,” and everything you see on it, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Ever since the emergence of these social platforms, people have become obsessed with validation from others, and it’s all for nothing… it’s deception at it’s finest.

Moment of transparency:

If you’re someone struggling with self-image and can honestly admit that social media has plaid a role in the way you look at yourself, don’t feel bad… this is something that’s impacting people every day, and it’s starting at a very young age.

If you’re struggling with self-perception, take a look at some of the biggest areas of social media that deceive people on a daily basis with aspirations for a false reality.

Biggest Areas That Social Media Projects False Realities


Relationship status is probably one of the biggest deceptions of all on social media. You’ll see your friends or some of your favorite celebrity couples snuggled up with cute hashtags like #relationshipgoals or cute captions like “the best snuggles are with him.”

In your mind, whether you’re in a relationship or not, you compare your life to what you see on your screen. You wonder why you can‘t find happiness like theirs. Well, the reality of posts like those is that their relationships aren’t as perfect as they make it look.

In fact, some people who make posts like that are in abusive relationships and they make those posts to not give any suspicion that abuse is happening in their relationship. So, you just have to be careful with how much you consume from “highlight reels” of relationships on social media… Those relationships could be the very thing that brings harm to your life, physically and mentally.


Fashion is another major deceptive area of social media. To be fair, Facebook and Instagram are great marketing platforms to increase a fashion brand’s online presence but it can be a breeding ground for a downward spiral into depression.

From a fashion designer’s perspective, they’ll use social media to promote their clothing line in every possible way to showcase how high quality their clothes are. They may inform customers that they only use the high caliber materials and that they only work with top vendors like

When people see posts like that, they immediately envision themselves wearing those types of clothes, but when they see the price tags of some of those businesses, they feel less than because those clothes aren’t in their budget. Where the deception comes in is that the clothes may be of great quality but probably not worth the price that the designer is asking for.

Lots of designers try to get over on people, no matter who they damage on their journey to success.

Career Paths

Between your friends and family, you want all your loved ones to achieve great success, but while they’re achieving great success, you want to achieve great success as well. Sometimes when your friends or family members make these grand announcements on social media about job promotions or switching jobs, you genuinely are happy for them but at the same time, you question your own ambitions and compare yourself to them.

How come you’re not advancing in your career? How come you were overlooked for that position? Those are questions you ask yourself even if you’re doing a great job in your current position. Where the deception lies is in the fact that sometimes these jobs have fancy titles but are “regular” jobs just like everyone else has.

For example, a friend might post on Facebook that they were just promoted to the Territorial Sales Manager position. On Facebook, that position sounds powerful but the reality behind that position is that it’s a door to door sales position… a position you would absolutely hate.

The bottom line is that you have to find happiness within yourself because what other people have, or what social media makes it look like they have, is actually something you probably don’t want. Consider limiting your social media consumption… your mental health and self-perception will thank you for it.

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