The Fear of Being Average: What Helps Me Stay Honest On Social Media

Jun 06, 2024 by S. R. Watts

It’s no secret that in a modern world overrun with social media, where your status as an individual is measured by the number of likes and followers your profiles have, there is a real fear of coming off as just average. When the vast majority of users on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok tend to reward influencers who stand out in big ways—whether it be for the way they look or for the things they do—it can be tempting to compromise your values just so you can garner the necessary attention that gains you a following. That, of course, can be difficult for some people, especially if you have a strong moral compass like me.

Growing up, I was taught that you needed to be true to who you are as an individual and never let people pressure you into doing things you aren’t comfortable with. Since I never liked being a spectacle to others, the idea of performing like some kind of trained seal just so that I could garner a few likes and shares on social media was not worth the feelings of embarrassment that would have overwhelmed me. Yet, despite my aversion to such behavior, I want to be noticed for the simple fact that I have a book that I’m trying to promote, and people are less likely to buy a book from an author they know nothing about or who refuses to give them content they are interested in engaging with. So, the problem boils down to the simple fact that I am just average on the surface, and if I am honest about that, then people may not want to engage with me.

So, how do I overcome my fear of being average? How do I, a talented, intelligent author, communicate to the world that I am worth listening to and that I have value despite my lack of quirks and prestige? Perhaps the answer to my question lies in the question itself. Looking back on certain social media trends, I can see that many influencers have found success with such trends not because they were necessarily aspirational but because people felt validated through the content they were seeing. The Body-Positive Movement was successful because it helped people feel comfortable with the fact that they didn’t look like bodybuilders or supermodels and that they still had worth as human beings. By looking at my own pursuits as an average person, maybe social media users would see that they would still have worth even if they weren’t excentric or glamorous, thus validating them and their personalities as well.

In closing, social media can be a wonderful tool for spreading great ideas if we dare to spread them. We must be honest about who we are and what we want out of life and not be afraid to call out the phoniness we see in other people’s online performances. It’s not a bad thing to be average. It is quite good to be like everyone else. It means we have more in common with our fellow human beings, and the more we can relate to each other, the better we can work with each other. When we learn to work in harmony, the world will be a merrier place.