BY CHRISTINA O’FARRELL, STAFF WRITER
It’s easy to scroll through your best friend’s Instagram page and see all of their smiling selfies with perfect lighting and pictures of them out having a great time with others. Maybe the filter they use even creates a happy illusion. Seems like they’re having a pretty good time, right?
Everyone wants to have a picture-perfect life on Instagram, which to some means going on extravagant trips, having the newest shoes, posting your newest hairstyle, having that Instagram model physique, and many other attributions of having a so-called perfect life. The feeling of being envied somehow makes you feel powerful. So no matter how awful a person is feeling mentally, they can put on a mask on Instagram and pretend that everything is great. There’s a huge flaw in this outlook, and unfortunately, it’s an increasingly normalized activity. The sad truth for some is that Instagram is a great mask to hide behind.
I’ve learned this truth the hard way from the friends around me and even from myself. Talking about the way you’re really feeling is much harder than uploading a selfie in golden hour lighting. It has become too normal to hide someone’s mental health because of the stigma around it. The stigma basically states that the way you feel is something you can control and it’s just something you’re going to have to overcome by yourself. It almost makes people feel like it’s their fault for feeling that way. But science proves that feeling mentally unwell is not something that can be controlled.
In our culture today, social media is on top. No one wants to post how they’re truly feeling on Instagram because no one wants to look weak. But the bigger issue is that some people don’t want to open up about what they’re really feeling and would rather carry on with this hidden burden.
It might be hard to believe, but even celebrities go through waves of sadness and difficulty. In fact, Olivia Culpo, former Miss USA and Miss Universe 2012, opened up about going through depression. Culpo has millions of followers on Instagram and is someone that many would deem an “Instagram model.”
It’s important to note that your friends are there for a reason. Your friends are there to uplift you and remind you that you’re loved. It’s so important to check up on your friends and make sure they’re doing okay. The feeling of being a burden is very strong today in our society, so just checking up on someone could really help them out. It could even potentially save their life, or encourage them to go to professional to talk about how they’re really feeling. Mental illness is very easy to hide, but just talking about it can make a huge difference