There’s this thing called ‘Whitewashing’ I recently read about. At first, I assumed the article was talking race. Certain Hollywood films will use white actors for non-white parts, that’s whitewashing. But the article was talking about the whitewashing we do on social media. This type of whitewashing is something we are all guilty of… and we can’t stop it.
I know you have seen this picture before. It’s been used to explain hard work, or how we only see part of the big picture. The latter is what we use on social media. I recently got a new job and I posted about it all over my social media! From Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, I celebrated my excitement about this new adventure. But that’s just the tip.
I didn’t mention the other 10 jobs I’ve applied to, or how this job may test my marriage.
I don’t mention when I go through a difficult day with my depression, or how I still struggle with the death of family members.
This is whitewashing. We clean and purify our social media posts. We don’t talk about how we stopped working out after we bragged about 2 weeks ago. We never mention all the failed attempts. But we need to talk about it.
Effect on Society
TIME magazine did a story titled We Need to Talk About Kids and Smartphones by Markham Heid in their November 6th, 2017 edition. They talked about how youth being constantly connected may have a correlation with higher depression and suicide rates. A study cited mentioned that “Among kids who used devices five or more hours a day, 48% had at least one suicide-related outcome”. Being on their devices is just the tip of the iceberg.
The teen TIME interviewed had no idea why she was depressed. However, every night before she would go to bed she would scroll through models on Instagram. Filtered and staged photos were what this young girl viewed as reality. Because they are staged , our brains view them as advertisements. But instead of selling their products, which some successfully do, they sell us their life…
We find our lives without value. We find that we don’t have a rocking body or perfect tan lines. We feel adequate, at best. But being adequate isn’t good enough. So, we doctor some photos and flip our hair to the right side. We stage a photo, so it looks better. Then we post it.
I don’t have a fair life. No one does. But I talk about it openly. I have depression, I’m not always healthy about my meal choices, and PCOS causes me to wax my chin
every week. Not talking about those issues make them taboo, or forbidden. And that’s where the issue really lies.
Post fun photos and talk about the wonderful things happening in life. But don’t hide failures. As a society, we need to change the narrative about struggles. We need to talk.
As always, be kind