Wake up. Make the bed. Shower. Get dressed. Prep coffee or tea-whatever is your preference. Exhale to start the day. Put the mask on(?).

Today’s social media environment is competitive, at best, duplicitous, at worst. In this environment, it can be difficult to remain true to yourself for fear of judgment.  We post the best of our times and our most positive thoughts. Sometimes we post bad news or a bad feeling, but it’s for the same purpose-to receive acceptance, a nice gesture. We are slaves to our online personal brand. You may often feel behind a mask.

Due to this virtual hyper-social setting, the real precious moments have become those we spend alone in self-awareness and perhaps those we spend in the company of loved ones; those who know what happens when the curtain drops.

It would be quite subversive to share the morning pics before we comb our hair or apply make-up. Some people do wake up like Beyoncé and would confidently post a morning selfie expecting likes. However, the majority of us are pretty drab before 7 am and would think twice about the risk of not getting likes on a selfie!

Why is it we spend so much time impressing people online while we neglect those who truly care about us? Are we all so desperate for approval we miss to authenticate our close ones IRL (IN REAL LIFE)? Are we satisfied with the mere appearance of a happy, privileged life through filters and emojis?

If you find yourself more frustrated than not with social media, consider disconnecting for a time, at least from one platform. You may find it very hard to do. You don’t have to announce it. The people that care will reach out. Don’t be afraid to tune out for a while to find your balance. Work on impressing yourself and not others for a change. Reconnect when the time is right for you.

If you decide to suspend that Facebook account for a time is too much to bear, don’t do it. Rather than a cold-turkey separation from your virtual friends, try to maintain focus on your physical surroundings and local relationships. Also, try not to compare your life to others or derive anything from others’ posts and photos. Remember this Latin phrase: Fronti Nulla Fides; Nothing is what it seems. Say that to yourself if you need to as a mantra.