Some people really aren’t who they post to be..
Have you ever looked at your social media and seen photos of other people and think, “Wow their life must be so great.” Have you ever looked at a friend’s profile and been like you look so happy but in reality I know you’re not. Have you ever posted to create an online image of happiness or success when it really isn’t that way at all?
With an ever growing world of technology and social media becoming more and more popular, it can be easy to start living in cyberspace and regressing from reality. It’s getting easier to forego basic human interaction skills because you can meet people and maintain friendships over social media with little to no effort. It’s becoming easier for people to have no concept of reality because they are fully immersed in the Internet and what it claims to offer.
Today I wanted to talk about social media and societies need to portray an image that might not be 100% truthful or transparent.
Before I start, I’ll be honest; I’m guilty of this. I don’t do it anymore but I have in the past. In difficult stages of life I would create a happier version of my life on social media. I don’t really know why I did it; I’m not sure any of us really know why we do it, but I think looking back, I wanted to give the impression that I was OK. I wanted my family and friends to not worry about me and see that everything was OK even when in reality, it wasn’t. I didn’t want to be seen as a failure or that anything was wrong when technically there shouldn’t have been a reason for anything to be wrong. In a sense, I think my mindset was if I only portray this side, maybe it will start becoming my reality.
As time has gone on, it bothers me that I thought that was OK- that being someone I’m not or showing something I wasn’t, was easy enough to do. When I look back now, I’m reminded of what was really going on behind the false happiness. You’d think I’d look at a post and be like oh I remember that, but in reality I’m thinking, I know what happened that day and it wasn’t what I posted about. It makes me sad to think how easily I lived a “double life”.
While thinking about this post, I’ve had a lot of self realizations about my social media use and the image I’m portraying about myself. I’ve come up with a few questions that I want to ask myself before I push publish on any post on any of my social media platforms. I would hope after reading, these questions are something you would ask too.
Is what I’m posting real?
I want to show who I really am and not who I think others want to see. It’s getting easier to talk about issues and it’s becoming more socially accepted to not be ok all the time. If we don’t talk about it, how is anyone to know? While it is easier to reach out and sometimes having the ability and courage to say something with the anonymity of a computer screen that you wouldn’t be able to say face to face can be a good thing, as it allows you that freedom without the fear of verbally admitting or saying what you need. If we didn’t have the use of social media, would you still be able to show what you posted and not be fake?
Does this reflect who I am and where I am in life?
It can be easy to want to portray a successful, happy, carefree, accomplishing all I want to in life kind of image on social media where you can pick and choose the images and videos you share and neglect the ones that don’t match your ideal lifestyle; but it’s not so easy in real life. We can’t pick and choose between the ugly and perfect so why do it on social media? If you really have a good real life relationship with those on your social media, won’t they know the difference between what you post and what is real? I want to be known for being real and for being me. While my blog allows me to do that, I can’t be saying one thing here and then my social media says something different. I want to be consistent, trust worthy and honest so that others know they are getting me 100%, not just what I want them to see. We all struggle, we all have trials and we all have days where we just aren’t ok. I want to be able to see there are others just like me so I know I’m not alone, rather than seeing everyone having a perfect life and feeling more alienated than before. I want to connect with you on a real, personal level rather than something not even I am realistically attaining. What you see, is what I am.
Is what I’m posting something I could do or say in reality?
I know this may conflict with the first question in being able to have the courage to say something in cyberspace without the pressure of real life interaction but I guess I’m kind of referring to cyber bullies/trolls or whatever you want to call them. In a perfect world, there would be peace and love and no one would be out to get anyone. But sadly this is not the case and it seems to be getting worse. Before I hit publish, would I be able to say this to someone’s face as confidently as I hit that publish button? If we have people putting their issues or struggles online, looking for help or wanting to raise awareness, I would hope that you would be as kind and empathetic as you would online that you would be in person. I hope that we all try that little bit harder to be kinder in what we say.
Is this the whole story?
Often it can be easy to pick and choose the good parts of a day or event and leave out the no so nice parts. That’s understandable, but at the same time, if you look back on that day, will you feel and see the same thing as you posted? For example, when my husband and I were going through a hard time at the beginning of our marriage, I would often post the good time we had had that day even though it may have been overshadowed by a negative ending. I would post how great it was and how happy I was when in reality, I wasn’t. Now looking back, I remember the fun that was had but I also remember more vividly the feelings I had while the photo was being taken or while I was writing the actual post.
It can be easy to want a perfect life, and it’s even easier to portray you have one. You can come across as anyone you want to be with the right photo, the right caption and the right filter; but at what cost? At some stage it’ll catch up with you and to be honest, I think it’s tiring. We know nobody has it perfect. We all have our own little struggles, our own personal demons and it’s OK not to be ok. No one is going to love or like you any less because you aren’t perfect. To me, having the ability to admit you aren’t ok, makes me want to follow you and makes you more relatable. I would much rather have 10 friends on Facebook or 5 followers on any other social media that know me and accept me at my good and at my worst than have a million followers and too many Facebook friends to count that only like me because of who I let them think I am. I would much rather have real and authentic relationships than ones based on how well I can fake it.
Whether you follow me or not, at least you can know that I am who you see. I will be honest and up front. I will relate to you if I can and I will be the same online and in reality. With the way the world is going today, it’s rare to find people who are genuinely authentic and real. Society is so caught up in being perfect when society itself is anything BUT perfect. When the world no longer relies on the internet or when society no longer judges itself based on image, I would hope that still, I would be the person I am today, knowing the people I do and not having my own personal self worth affected because I no longer have the ability to lead a double life. There is a time and place for everything and for me, this blog allows me to be whoever I want and allows me to creatively and productively share my life and what I’ve learnt. I don’t post so much on my personal social media because I found myself falling too easily into the creation of a “perfect” life.
Don’t fall so easily into the trap that social media creates. Everybody has their time of success and everybody has their time of failure and hardship. You are no less of a person because you aren’t where someone else is on any given day. Live your life for you and those who choose to live with you in the life you choose, are the ones who deserve to be kept around.
Choose to be real and choose to be you. If no one stands with you, at least you have me.
Mrs Yolo xoxo