We’ve all seen it, we’ve all heard it – apps like Instagram often only show the best snippets of people’s lives (unless you have a ‘Finsta’, of course), though this has been widely accepted by the majority of people, at what point does this become fake? Is it fake at all?
For some reason, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I go through phases of frequent posting on social media, as well as times where I delete my social apps altogether in attempt to clear my mind and focus on more important things. More often than not, this is when I’m going through a more down or difficult time and want to focus on whats going on in my own life rather than other people’s. Despite this, obviously there are periods where we aren’t going through the best of times and frequently turn to social media for distraction, entertainment, or an outlet share our thoughts and feelings. Personally, I try (where possible) to minimize sharing negative things but for me, and many others, this varies between apps – it’s rare to see someone share something negative about their life on Instagram but more common on Twitter.
There’s been times I’ve been to beautiful places or taken photos that I instantly want to share however, in the midst of these things, still suffered with personal problems such as anxiety. Yes, I did do what I’m posting and yes I did enjoy it – to some extent – but what a photo doesn’t capture is the true extent of somebody’s life. You can see a pretty sunset, you can see smiling people but you have no idea what they were feeling at that particular moment – part of the reason it is so important to not take everything on the internet literally. I’m not sure my point makes complete sense, but have you ever not wanted to post a photo because you don’t want people to think you’re having a brilliant time when you’re not? I don’t want people to think ‘wow her life looks good’ when that’s not how I feel! Obviously it doesn’t have to be something as extreme as anxiety, you could’ve been having a bad week and posted a photo of brunch that captured one good hour of it. But to me, sometimes it feels wrong to paint a positive picture online when it doesn’t reflect real life.
Though this is the case for me, this may not have crossed some people’s minds. It’s just left me wondering, at what point does posting on social media become fake? Should we be brutally honest about our lives or is that TMI? Is it okay that people see ourselves differently to how we actually are because of the ideal version of us we show online? I know that for some people, having people view their ideal self might make life easier and increase their confidence but naturally, that isn’t the case for everyone and especially not me!
All this being said, there really is a line when it comes to social media, not only do you not want to portray a life that you don’t have but you also don’t want to be a negative nelly all the time, after all, what you post can affect other people as well as yourself and moping around on Twitter will hardly make you feel any better! It seems there somehow needs to be middle ground that encompasses the perfection of social media lives and the imperfections of real life. I’d be interested to know if anybody else feels this sometimes, that your social media accounts don’t necessarily reflect you?
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