The False Reality of Social Media

Social Media

Magnified illustration with the word Social Media on white background.

Let’s face it, in today’s world or Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube etc. we use social media to project the idea and perception of ourselves that we want people to see.  We post about the positives in our lives like our perfectly made food, big beautiful house or new car but rarely do people share the real struggles they may be going through.

This is something that I think is very relevant today and that everyone needs to be very aware of when using social media. We are constantly comparing ourselves to those that we see online.  Even when people post “real” photos or bad hair days or a messy room, its far giving an insight to a person’s true imperfections.   Now in no way am I saying people need to or should be posting such things on social media, I just think that we get so lost in the world of social media that we start to believe others “perfect” lives which is generally a false reality.

A good example of this that is relatable for the younger generation is YouTuber Elle Mills. Elle because YouTube “famous” incredibly fast, she always portrayed herself as a fun and charismatic girl.  Recently she began sharing her struggles with depression and the pressure she has felt to keep up her image, which has shocked a ton of her fans (me included), but this for me and so many others was a good reality check that no one is perfect and there is always more going on in a person’s life behind the scenes.

Have you ever noticed about how you may be doing this yourself? Or caught yourself comparing yourself to another’s social medias?

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11 thoughts on “The False Reality of Social Media

  1. I’m not really a sharer of my personal life on social media. I share pictures of my kids, my vacation, cat meme’s, witches and anything I find funny or entertaining. I think sharing those personal things is more for private audiences like my spouse or my family. I get what you are saying though. Many people try to show the world the perfect them. It is unrealistic and can be detrimental to those watching. Especially young girls who look up to their idols. If they only see the big shiny stuff they think that is what they need to be happy. I think It is really brave of girls like Elle who show a true rendition of themselves. We need more role models that show its ok to not be perfect. I was shocked when Robin Williams committed suicide. I adored him as an actor. He was the funniest guy on television. But it wasn’t’ real. Inside he was hurting and no one knew. I read in an article after his death that he always felt the need to be the funny guy when there was more than him in the room. When he was alone he was sad and dark and lonely. That is a sad way to live. Great post. Very insightful. 🙂

    • Yes! Its always the people that you least expect, I always try my best to ask my friends and family if they are doing okay, no matter how it looks from the outside.

  2. I was trying to find this Instagram post from a while ago but couldn’t. Basically is a photo of this beautiful girl laying in bed looking perfect. Someone comments on how natural she looks and how she wishes she looks like that. The girl posting the photo comments – I have hair extensions, lip fillers, and this photo is photo-shopped, this is not natural! I absolutely loved it! I think a lot of people like to post false illusions to make others think a certain way about them. It’s like when you are buying a house and looking through it and then you open up the dishwasher and all the mail is in it!

    • I love that! I think it great that the poster of the photo let the commenter know what all happened behind the scenes of the photo!

  3. I honestly believe that anyone using social media has at some point compared themselves to what they were seeing. Sometimes, the more time we spend on social media the more depressed we get. However, It does have its good moments, especially when you laugh, see something that warms your heart or something that encourages you to become a better person and a go-getter. It’s all up to us how we process this information.

    • I totally agree Orabi! Its all about how you approach social media, I personally scroll through looking for funny memes or DIYs on pinterest rather than creeping peoples instagrams.

  4. You have a good point. Controlling your image online to make us shine is a fact we have to deal with and take in consideration when we compare ourselves. Just like when fisherman exaggerates the size of the fish they caught, or when you compare your grass to your neighbour’s, it’s always easier to show the nice side. Complaining or sharing sad stories might (or should) be something we keep for personal conversation I think. And for the not too good side, you can always spend days watching the fail army Youtube channel…

    • Yes I agree that the complaining and sad stories can be kept private, but that people need to be aware it is private so that they dont feel others are perfect and wonder why they have problems and their must be something wrong with them. It all comes down to how educated and aware social media users are.

  5. I think that’s the challenge with social media in that everyone wants to post the perfect image, and why not? You are being judged by your followers / friends. I really don’t want a crappy picture of myself posted that someone can say, “Oh my, not a good look for her!” Of course, I’m kidding a bit but that is the feeling for most young people when they are trying to live up to that perception of how they want people to see them. My youngest daughter posts mostly “perfect” pictures of herself but I think the best post I ever saw were some pics that were taken of her by a team photographer. She plays varsity field hockey and he took a number of shots of her in these contorted positions with a crazy look on her face as she was trying to avoid getting hit with a ball or a stick. They were hysterical. I was so glad to see her making fun of herself on social media. I also think it’s good to see social media stars open up about their mental health issues to show they are not perfect, but when it comes to friends on Facebook, I cringe when I read a sob story. I agree, I don’t think we should be posting negative things about our personal lives.

  6. I have been guilty to post only my perfect photos, videos, etc. Only recently I have been opening up, and it has been because of Elle Mills. I have met her a few times now, and I just love her as a person. She is amazing, and we connect every time we see each other.

    Elle has changed, and for the better. I would like to say I have changed for the better as well. I hope everyone gets rid of this perfect ideal, it is not realistic whatsoever. I hope it gets tossed out the door and on the highway where it can be run over.

    I loved your post, great writing, and I love how you connected it all together.

  7. Great post Jade!
    It’s very true that people seem to only be sharing positive things about their lives. It’s too bad that we keep ourselves from sharing our struggles. I think it’s important to be vulnerable sometimes, even if it can attract criticism or trolls. We can connect with people who are going through similar things, or sometimes sharing our stories can push people to get the help that they need.
    I do find that I sometimes compare myself to other people online, mostly I seem to compare my work to other photographers’ work. It’s really unhealthy and I try to force myself to not look too often at other photographers’ social media pages that are considered “competition”.
    No one has a perfect life and we just need to realize that when we look at photos on social media! We’re all the same after all, we go through difficult things in our lives at one point or another.

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