We all know that social media is used to prove a point. I posted a pic at my yoga class with a green smoothie, therefore I am fit and healthy. I posted a selfie= I know that I look good. I posted a pic of my entire family around the dinner table= I have a strong support network. I posted a pic of my Valentine’s present= I am in love. I posted a pic at an art gallery exhibition= I am cultured, etc., etc.
However, we must bear in mind that social media rarely ever depicts ‘the truth’, let me explain.
I remember being stuck on a boat whale-watching in Reykjavik, riddled with sea sickness and throwing up every two minutes. And yet as soon as I spied a beautiful sunset my phone was out and within seconds that photo was up on my Snapchat Story as proof that I was having an amazing time. I’d travelled all this way to sit in minus temperatures with frosty eyebrows and it was well worth it dammit! Friends and family viewed the photo and proceeded to message me full of envy, and what did I do? I continued being sick in a bag. Did I provide an honest portrayal of my experience? Nope. Thanks to that trip I’ve been put off boats for life! But I was blindly following the status quo, using social media to mislead the world and let them believe that all was hunky dory, because that’s what you’re supposed to do…isn’t it? Ok here’s another example to illustrate my point: a girl I recently met on my travels had just returned from Australia where she’d stayed for a month. She’d absolutely hated it, vowed that she would never go back, “but at least I got some good photos for the Gram and made my friends back home jealous!” she said.
Such is the world that we live in folks: a world of pretence. Ok that was slightly morbid, but you catch my drift.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I’m aware, the general jist of social media is to flaunt your life in the best possible light, NOT to expose your reality which isn’t necessarily always as ‘attractive’ in comparison. We put forward a one-sided story.
You post pictures of your Rolex and whisky bottles on ice in the club, but no screenshots of your non existent bank balance. You post pics of your worldwide travels, but nothing to show that you’re hopelessly lonely and homesick. You post a sentimental message for your mum on Mother’s Day, but nothing to show that you haven’t had a proper conversation with her in months!
I guess that social media can be viewed as a tool for escapism from the real world, the only danger is when you allow yourself to become consumed by it. Yes you can edit and filter photos and videos to make your life SEEM perfect, but newsflash: real life is not perfect. It never is, not for anybody. We all have happy amazing fun-filled times, but we also experience lows and sadness too; real life is all about balance. But that balance is rarely ever documented online, we only get to see people’s 30 second long highlights reel and you know what…that’s absolutely fine.
Frankly speaking, who really wants to dwell on their struggles and broadcast their pain for the world to see? Not me. Social media allows people to feel good about themselves and accentuate their best bits! And like I said that’s fine, as long as we’re aware of the fact that we’re rarely ever getting the full picture when we scroll through our Facebook Newsfeeds, we’re not bearing witness to REAL life. So try to remember that the next time that you’re creeping on someone’s Instagram page and turning green with envy. There is always more than meets the eye…