A thought crossed my mind the other day: when we’re “being ourselves” are we actually being ourselves or are we being how society taught us to be?
I asked a few young adults what they thought on the matter –
“I know that society influences our perceptions of ourselves in an inescapable way, but there is a wholeness that I feel when I am truly being myself that I don’t have when I am just being what I am expected to be,” Kacee Dunn, 20, said.
Kacee believes that there are two sides of who she is, the one where she can relax and act the way she wants and the other, needs to live up to what society deems “right.”
There’s a fine line between what’s right for us individually and what’s right in the eyes of the world. We live in a place full of hypocrites and we feel that it’s normal to criticize what others do in public while we do it in private, or when we see someone who is different from us (society as a whole) we think that they are in the wrong.
“I believe that I am being myself when I best live up to society’s standards in my own way,” Cate York, 19, said.
There is a guideline that’s easy to follow; do what everyone else is doing, or your rendition of it, and you’ll be fine. Stay in the box or, when the time comes, you can jump out of the box when everyone else does.
We have social media and reality TV to thank for that. Even though we can trace societal influence way back it has grown so much over these past few years alone and that influence can hurt people and it can help people.
Those that feel like they aren’t good enough or that they can’t succeed in life can be inspired by those that have pushed through their fear and decided to share the story.
Society has shaped us into what we are. It’s “inescapable” and practically law but it brings together people that would never be together if we all did our own thing.
What do you think about the path society pushes us down? Is it more harmful than helpful?
You can follow Kacee Dunn on Twitter: @dkdunn29
You can follow Cate York on Instagram: @ayeeeitscate
You can also follow me on Twitter, @maddysjones18, and on Instagram @maddysjones18