THE BLOG
07/08/2014 03:30 pm ET Updated Sep 07, 2014

We Are What We Instagram

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2014 Anna Herrin

Social media lends us the resources necessary to manipulate our self-images. It offers cyber stages on which to perform new roles and shed old skin. It provides a medium through which to transmit specific information that emphasizes our redeeming qualities while concealing our character flaws.

As far as our audience is concerned, we are what we share via social media. What we share defines us, and this fact does not seem to bother the friends and followers who wittingly subscribe to attend our amateur performances. But when we start confusing ourselves with the information that we share, an identity crisis ensues.

The trouble is, we now live in a million places at once. Through social media, we strive to capture it all, to be it all, everything. We itch to post it, to share it, now. We then recline on couches to count the likes on our fingers, refreshing to feel refreshed.

At a time in which we fragment ourselves, or at least, representations of ourselves, across various social media platforms, it's easy, if not inevitable, to lose sight of who we really are. When we're constantly acting as consultants on LinkedIn, comedians on Twitter and food critics on Instagram -- all simultaneously -- it's difficult, and nearly impossible, to feel complete.

But we are complete (completely a mess, but complete, nonetheless). It's natural to confuse ourselves with the information that we share and the characters that we play. We are that information. We are those characters. We've chosen to become them.

And now, those things are, in a very real sense, a part of us, as we are equally a part of them.

Social media, like everything else that we involve ourselves with, is not separate from life. It is life.

And although our lives may never be as glamorous as they appear on Instagram, we are indubitably the people beneath the Mayfair filter. We're living, breathing amalgamations of everything that we've been pretending to be.

After all, we are what we share, and that's perfectly fine. Because we're also so much more.

We're every experience that we add to our LinkedIn profiles and every experience that we don't, every thought that we tweet and every thought that we don't, every brunch that we Instagram and every shit that we take. We're everything we were and everything we're yet to be.