We live in a world, especially the young people, who can hide behind phone screens, perfectly edited photos, and highlights of their weeks. We see the best versions of each other and even though we know these people are normal human beings with feelings of sadness and anger, we tend to believe that their life is perfect and beautifully laid out before us. This epidemic is decreasing our social skills as a society and therefore decreasing the authenticity in our relationships. This is problematic for several reasons but the main issue I want to focus on here is that it strips us of being accountable. When we aren't truly known, no one knows us well enough to hold us to our word, to call us out when we are nasty, or to question our behavior. Accountability is extremely important for progress, growth, and success. Think about it, why does weight watchers have a support group to be honest about your weeks triggers and successes? Why does AA have a nightly group to discuss your temptations? Why do we receive grades in classes or get scores for work completed? Why do we have bosses? All of these are examples as to why accountability is important to be the best version of ourselves. When we aren't fully known, we often feel like we aren't accountability to anyone and can make our own choices. The problem with this? Our choices impact others.
So, what can we do about this? Creating open, authentic, and trusting relationships with people is vital for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Research suggests being fully known actually promotes a longer life! Of course, this doesn't come without thorough screening of these people and it's not healthy to just hump in and share all your secrets with someone you don’t know, but showing up and being true to yourself while you get to know these people is a good first step. So, get off your phone, get in person, ask the hard questions, answer honestly, create memories, show vulnerability, and truly let yourself be known. You’d be surprised- people love and respect those that are unashaminglythemselves :)