By Josephine Amoako

We love to stare at and admire

The thousands of photos we find online;

They are a source of inspiration

For our new wardrobe, wedding and interior décor;

We can’t help but wish to be like those on our screens;

Smiling, happy, serene, with a perfect background;

We sometimes feel urged to work harder on ourselves;

To look the way they do;

Spend more than we usually would;

To live in similar surroundings,

To have the same flawless face and perfect hair;

And sometimes, we feel horrible after logging off;

Wondering where we went wrong with our lives;

And if there would ever be a time someone else;

Would admire and want to be like us;

But we sometimes forget the filter feature;

The wow effect it creates when it brightens up a photo;

How it makes the eyes sparkle and the skin glow;

And even makes the forced smiles look genuine;

But we know how many selfies and shots we take;

Before choosing the best to be posted;

Not before tweaking it up a little;

So why mess up your mood and grow jealous;

Over a filtered photo?

Some expressions of joy may be real;

And the locations may be exotic;

A picture, they say, paints a thousand words;

But how many exactly does a filtered one say?

We are always told to smile for a photo;

Whether we feel like it or not;

So don’t always take to heart what you see;

Some pictures are for promo only;

To get you and I talking;

So they wouldn’t have to think too much

About their own problems;

But feel relevant by the social media hype;

And up their self-esteem by all the like and love buttons;

It is good to admire and aspire;

To have what you’ve seen others acquire;

But please don’t get bitter;

Whenever you feel like beating yourself up, just remember;

It’s only filter.

© Josephine Amoako 2017