Download audio (MP3)
Youth Radio's Bianca Brooks agrees with a study that links Facebook and narcissism.
By Bianca Brooks
When I joined Tumblr, a photo blogging website, I was in awe of all the "beautiful" people. I too wanted to be "Internet famous," to be appreciated for my beauty. I honestly believed with nice clothes, a cool camera and a little luck, that thousands of Internet users would love me too.
So on Facebook I started adding only edited photos of myself and accepted every friend request that came my way and my excuse for being fake was "well my Facebook friends like me, so what?"
It was an escape that let me be the person I felt I could never be in real life. My own faults and insecurities were hidden behind a computer screen. The praise I never got from my family and peers created the need for compliments, "likes" and "reblogs."
The problem was not that I enjoyed the attention, but mistaking this praise for validation of my beauty and intelligence, instead of taking it at face value for what it really was: The Internet. But how could I resist slipping into a world where it’s so easy to "add" who loves you and "delete" who doesn't? Photoshop and Picnik gave me that whiter smile I could never get with my nonexistent dental coverage. I said I was born in Hollywood instead of Orange County to sound more glamorous.
Whenever I got on social networks, my sister saw my confidence waver, and she decided to intervene. She explained to me that the people who are "loved" on Tumblr rarely live up to their images in reality and told me to "get a grip" because this wasn't real beauty.
After a while becoming comfortable with myself again, I closed the Photoshop apps and changed my profiles back to the truth. I finally acknowledged that The Internet was majorly contributing to my insecurities. I came to terms with the truth, realizing I wasn't flawed but my thinking was. Now, I only offer the real me, flaws included, and surprisingly people don't mind. My followers haven't unfollowed me because my teeth aren't perfectly white or my hair isn't done. And maybe these insecurities were just virtual, too.
With a Perspective, I'm Bianca Brooks.