Who am I?
This is a question that perplexes most people juggling between identities of their own making on social media, followed by who they are in their social environment and then the true self to which they go home. At first glance it does not look like much to the bare eyes, for unlike screenplay the identities also come with neuro emotional experiences that become a part of you, and for your own well-being, should be an identity that’s not in conflict.

Life with the advent of social media like Orkut, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. has created a euphoria connecting known family and friends across the globe, now extending to unknown people too, revolutionizing whilst also altering the rules of social engagement. Within a decade, we are now flooded with the possibility of getting connected to anyone anywhere, all in a click; in no time this came to be a measure of your sphere of influence and social standing, with the constant need to present the best version of yourself, reflecting lifestyles to match or surpass; to project a larger-than-life representation of one’s life.

It no more about just the connections but instead a platform on which to present oneself to the world; with this came the never-ending need for projecting a life larger than it really is, and this need was met by technology and enhancements with visual alterations unthinkable even a decade ago. The need to look better got photo editing tools; the need for a fun element got filters that offered addons – the crowns, light effects, animals and animated faces.

All seemed well up to this point, but now we have been introduced to AR (augmented reality) filters that not just enhance but also alter features; that superimpose ideas of perfection to match templates that are predefined we tread into areas beyond reality. The impact of such experiences goes unnoticed even to the smartest of us, as it is a subtle alteration through reinforcement repeated of an idea of the good, the smart, the beautiful, the likable, the fashionable, the successful etc. that’s not your own, making it a manipulated shift of one’s personality without one’s consent.

Nothing wrong in all of this, as long as one is mindful of one’s journey through it, as long as one stops and once in a way asks oneself the question Who am I? And be honest with the reply you give yourself.
Do reflect on some of these whilst addressing the above.

Why am I here?
Is what I project a reflection of me?
Remind yourself often of the difference between online and real-life people.
Refrain from comparing your life to others’.
Remind yourself that no one announces any failures.
Refrain from unrealistic expectations.

So step back and live a bit, be unfiltered, allow yourself to have a realistic experience, keep it real, invest in knowing and growing yourself; let it be one that’s about values and standards that build character and not that of validation and temporary dopamine highs.
Signing of with one of my favourite quotes: “You are all you have”. So spend this lifetime becoming all that you can be.

Ajith Anirudhan
Life Empowerment Coach|Public Speaker
ACC™ | CCA – International Coaching Federation (USA)