A few years ago, back when Facebook “apps” were a thing and you could embed little widgets of content to further emblazon your personality all over your page, I read a tiny but loud phrase that really pissed me off:
Insecurity is such a turnoff.
Of course the type of people who posted that superficial drivel was often the same one who posted a thousand selfies, filtered by Instagram, with each one captioned with an unrelated quote of profound significance.
Such a BS echo chamber of insincerities.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with being someone who loves to publicize their self-adoration on Facebook (after all confidence is beauty and self-love is healthy), but there’s something contradictory about claiming to dislike insecure people when the very act of carefully cultivating your image online just screams insecurity.
If you curate digital content that aligns with your outlook on life and how you wish to view yourself, or what you wish you become, you are projecting an image. When you project that image on social media, you hope to garner likes, reassurance, and other forms of positive reinforcement. Ultimately, your Facebook posts – whether or not they are directly related to your life events – boil down to being about ourselves. Because we are projecting our viewpoints and highlighting the perception that we are caring, educated and active people and we expect positive feedback for our projections. Why is that necessary? Could it be that we are lacking something that perhaps we are only half aware of, that we are addressing by creating a perfected version of our persona digitally?
We are called a narcissistic generation. We are told that technology and social media are giving us an inflated sense of self. But most of us don’t walk around feeling like we are all that great. In fact, there is one underlying emotion that overwhelmingly shapes our self-image and influences our behavior, and that is insecurity. If you could enter the minds of people around you, even the narcissistic ones, you’re likely to encounter ceaseless waves of insecurity. – www.psychalive.org
We all are insecure. Unless you’re a special (a very special) case with irregular cognitions, you’re insecure like the rest of us.
So announcing on Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, etc. that insecure people turn you off is a big marker of your own insecurity – unless that was your intent. But that most likely wasn’t your intent.
In fact, we put a lot of effort into hiding our insecurity, especially on social media. Not only on Facebook, we hide it in the material world – trying to appear suave during an awkward conversation, saying that our weekend was great even though it wasn’t, forcing ourselves to maintain impassivity when we’re panicking – somehow it’s only acceptable to represent the wildly successful side of yourself. Any sign of insecurity is quickly quashed out by other people who think that it’s an ugly and remote thing that doesn’t touch their lives.
Why do we dedicate so much time to building positive images of ourselves while leaving out the ugly, dark, and sullen parts that beautifully make up the yin and yang of our existence? Is it insecurity? Are we scared to reveal the not-so-peachy part of ourselves for fear of rejection?
For anyone who watched Pixar’s “Inside Out” – the story captures exactly our predicament. Joy, the cheery green-hued Tinker-bell-look-alike attempts to hide “Sadness”, the little blue girl representing every somber experience, only to realize in the end that shit doesn’t work that way.
Life doesn’t work that way. You can’t just ignore one major aspect while focusing on the other.
There is no yin without yang.
There is no light without darkness.
We all are a work in progress, continuing to evolve as time pushes us to new horizons. We are living amalgamations summing up our experiences – negative and positive, and perceptions – confident and insecure.
So let’s be confident in our insecurity. It’s OKAY to be insecure and we don’t have to hide it. And for those who continue to say that insecurity isn’t sexy:
Screw you; you’re just as insecure as I.