Sustainable living is usually discussed as it pertains to preserving the Earth’s resources, but it can also be applied to the way we conduct, and present ourselves online.
Sustainable online living means maintaining congruence between what we post on social media sites, blogs, bios, etc, and our true selves in real life. This means that what we post should match, and truthfully portray our real personality, lifestyle and image. We should not be posting manufactured facades of what we think we should be, have, or look like.
I, like most of us, have been guilty of this in the past, too. Whether its using filters or editing software on our photos that alters our face, hair and body, or posting in a way that portrays our lifestyle with a false-air of perfection, wealth, affluence or superiority, when it comes down to it, this type of content creation is deceptive, and is outright lying. When we do this, when we falsely portray ourselves, and begin to believe our own delusion, this is called creating a “Reality Bubble,” and this type of disingenuous behavior is unethical, and not sustainable.
Just as a soap bubble gets too big and pops, as lies amass more and more, a person’s Reality Bubble will implode, too. Whether it's trying to pass off fake yeezys, or a fake family life, the truth will always come to light. –and when it does, this can have devastating effects on a person’s mental and emotional health.
Hearing the phrase "that's not the same guy," or "she looks nothing like she does on Instagram," is most people's worst nightmare. --and this is a self-created nightmare. Think about it, if we continually lie to others by falsely representing ourselves online, how can we expect to be able to go out in public, or go on a date without feeling, and experiencing the increased anxiety and paranoia of being “found out?” We can’t. So we must ask, why are we ok with being fake? Why is online fakery being normalized, encouraged and accepted? --and is this kind of fakery contributing to the growing number of individuals who suffer with depression, and anxiety related disorders, too?
On the physical end of the spectrum, creating Reality Bubbles, and the inability to escape our truth regularly leads people to use things like extreme makeup, body modification and cosmetic procedures in an attempt to keep up with the false image they’ve created for themselves online. This is also fakery, and this becomes addictive, and harder and more expensive to maintain. –but why do we feel the need to spend loads of time and money on excessive makeup, or surgical procedures? Self-care is one thing, but are we physically augmenting ourselves purely out of fear and self-doubt? Why do women think they need bigger lips, hips, boobs or different noses? Why are more and more men getting muscle implants? Why don’t we feel confident enough as we uniquely are? –and at every age and stage? Do we all actually need psych-evals before stepping foot inside of a cosmetic surgeon’s office, or downloading the latest photo editing app? Have we normalized self-mutilation, and “face tuning” ourselves as a response to feeling inadequate? Why?
The need to create Reality Bubbles is the product of self-image issues, and insecurities that make us feel we aren’t good enough as we truly, and naturally are. Many times these insecurities can be caused by being exposed to the over-sexualized and materialistic Reality Bubbles of other people, including influencers, celebrities and untruthful marketing campaigns. The truth is, most of the photos and posts we see online are not 100% genuine. Person, place, company or thing, online posts, photos and marketing ads are usually either edited, embellished, posed or downright manufactured using AI. Even health and physical fitness personalities are known to edit their photos in favor of more chiseled muscles, or a more whittled waistline. The reality is, we can't automatically assume or believe that the things and people we see online are actually real anymore. Unfortunately, most of us already know this, but we somehow still fall prey to feeling the need to conform by creating Reality Bubbles of our own. Whether it's posting extremely edited swimsuit photos, or flaunting money, cars and relationships we don’t actually have, we begin to mimic the same looks, attitudes and behaviors that we observe in other people who we consider to be superior, or our competition. Why? Why are we being duped into living an unhealthy, and unsustainable false reality?
Competition, jealousy, as well as body, relationship or lifestyle envy, and the need for adoration are usually the underlying emotions that can be traced back to why we feel it's necessary to create false versions of ourselves. It's nothing to be ashamed of, we've all been made to feel this way at some point or another. --but understand, you do not need to lie, or change who you are, and the way you look to gain the approval of others. You are enough exactly the way you are. Cookie-cutter definitions of beauty, or falling prey to media-encouraged body trends and materialism is just another way that Darkness tries to control, traumatize us, and make money off of our fears.
When we can come to fully understand this, the way we look at ourselves, and others changes. As we work to banish masks, and false identities from our lives, and begin to appreciate realness, that sinking-feeling of body or materialistic envy, and the Spirit of Competition ceases from being able to torment our minds, and we can regain our mental well-being.
As we move forward, we must pop these Reality Bubbles ourselves. This doesn’t mean outing everyone we see creating, or participating in these kinds of delusions, but we must learn to identify when people or companies are being disingenuous, while also taking responsibility for the content and persona that we ourselves are presenting to the world. Accept yourself, and learn to be thankful for who you are, and what you do have. --and remember that personal authenticity is in alignment with being fully truthful and trustworthy. --and being trustworthy is in alignment with Goodness, and the Light of God.
So please, stop following fakers, leave the filters off of your photos, and learn to be your organic self. You are enough.