Social media has its perks for connectivity and staying in touch, provides access to instant news and information, and is an excellent marketing channel for business. Ultimately it’s fun!
But like everything in this wide world, it has to come with disadvantages.
On that account, what is it with this pathological obsession of trying to show how perfect our lives are through our profiles? We desperately and constantly have something to prove … to strangers! And there is so much obsessive validation we are looking for.
I created my Facebook account in 2007, and a few years later, I joined Instagram. The last one was more imagery, so it was not that appealing for me for a longer time. On the other hand, Facebook was the shizzle as you could easily interact with so many different people. Slowly but surely, I formed my circle and reached almost 4K of so-called friends – mainly from the salsa community.
On Facebook, I used to pour my frustrations, brag about trips, parties, new clothes, and other acquisitions. Wear battles with people I never met in my life or people that I didn’t know much about subjects that didn’t matter. Share inspirational quotes or check into every place I was. The list can go on and on.
Slowly I stopped and shifted towards Instagram as it seemed to be less dramatic. And in general, I completely lost interest, got bored, thought it was a waste of my time, and preferred to protect my private life more. I wanted to delete my accounts many times but never could because these platforms have always been part of my work.
Instead, I became an observer. And I have done this for a few years now.
I often interact with people who lay there all their lives, posting every day about their families, kids, trips, life events, jobs, what they eat or drink, etc. And guess what – it turns out their lives are not what they are portrait, and some are even miserable.
And when you look at their profiles and what they are posting, it looks all shiny and flawless. Like a friend of mine said – the bigger the smile, the more massive the issues.
We became so obsessed we purchased fake followers, fake likes, and fake views. Because when someone is checking our profile, we have to show off and pretend we are popular and let’s face it, we like to arouse envy.
Therefore, observing the phenomenon, I also figured it’s not just what we show but also the people’s perception from the other side of the screen.
We are drawn by the illusion that if someone posts pictures from Bali, expensive locations, or shows their perfect family life, their existences are perfect and have nothing to worry about. And we envy those people, which leads to diseases such as depression and the feeling we are not good enough and not as popular and successful as them.
So Isn’t It All A Big Pretty Little Lie?
For example, I don’t post that much. Most of my pictures are just me posing somewhere and putting up some stories on Instagram. I get messages from my friends from Europe saying, I wish I had your life or Ah, your life in Dubai is so easy.
You wanna know how my life really is? I work 6 days a week in a branding agency from 9-7, I manage a side business with a friend, I work out a few days a week, I write on the blog, I do my best to socialize and keep in touch with my family and friends,, I have to take care of my house, and my cat and I try to sleep 6-8 h every night.
But the impression is that If I live in Dubai and publish a few posts here and there from a fancy location or from a pool in the middle of December. Or the fact that I did my nails in a pretty spa, it looks like that’s what I do every day, and I am spared of real-life issues. Duhhh.
Through My Research And Observations, Below Are The Four Typical Patterns I Identified That Would Do Anything To Portray Their Lives As Perfect And Exquisite.
THE PERFECT COUPLE …
… that has it all, and life was more than generous. They showcase their relationship from their first date until their kids are 3-4 years old and more. They are desperately trying to portray their perfect little family. And you know what, many of them are not happy or even worse they are about to break up. How do I know? I heard about so many or personally talked to them. And most of them say, it is not what it looks like, or we actually have so many issues, or don’t believe everything you see on Facebook Then why are you posing & posting??
They look perfect, present a fabulous worry-free life,
They don’t really have money, but they get a lot of complimentary products and services.
Of course, they are desperately trying to show that they actually have the cash.
I know girls who look perfect and seem like they have nothing to worry about. Men are at their feet, and they can get whatever they want.
Well, when the screen is off, they are lonely, depressed, and lost.
And those millions of face and body filters don’t bring any kind of long-term happiness either.
They have the cash but not the fame. Thankfully the birth of social media was an open door inviting the elite to show off their lavish lifestyle. They jump from a private jet to another, throw expensive parties on yachts in Monte Carlo or Miami (where of course, you can find plenty of the Model/Influencer type mentioned above), shop only on Rodeo Drive, Champs Elysee, or 5th Avenue.
But how happy are they, what is the value of the money, the entourage they surround themselves with? – just because they have the bling.
They portray happiness and good times, but how lonely must they feel after the screens are off.
They show they have real friends and cool peeps around when all those people are there because everything is paid and taken care of.
THE REGULAR AVERAGE GUY / GIRL SHOWING EVERYTHING
It all starts from them being single and complaining or dating different people. Finally, they find someone, date, get engaged, get married, have kids, and eventually get a divorce. They are back in the dating scene, again complaining. All their frustration is poured online so everyone can see. And they keep going and posting about every single thing that they do. Because, of course, the entire universe has to know every single thing from when they flush the toilet to what they had for lunch, the new jeans they bought, the parties they went to.
How Messed Up Is The Above? And How Did We End Up Hiding Behind The Social Media Wall?
Of course, all relationships have challenges, and it’s not all milk and honey. Whether in a relationship or not, every person who posts, deals with something, and the number of examples are countless. But why would you spend all that time creating a scenario, taking the pictures, editing them, creating a long-ass caption, and posting them so the world can see how extraordinary your life is?
I define the above as Hypocritical, Fake, Inauthentic, Shallow, and utterly Scary.
We portray ourselves as being happy, smiling all the time, having no worries, and developing something we are not.
We all create this perfect image of ourselves and show it to the world instead of staying true to who we are and protecting our identities.
Aren’t we exhausted of so much pretending and laying? Aren’t we tired of this fanfaronade?
The answer is no, as everyone keeps posting, never stopping, never taking a break like it’s a marathon, and at the finish line, it says YOU HAVE BEEN VALIDATED, KEEP GOING.
What’s The Alternative Of Being More Authentic And Less Fake?
- Meet more in-person
- Call more and text much less.
- Connect more with nature and go for outdoor activities
- Read books … real books.
- Have more confidence and stop comparing yourself with others
- Educate our children in a way that they don’t take the same path
- Be more active, work out, go to the beach.
- Keep some of our private events just for us and for the close people from the public eye. Expose less our personal lives
- Get used to using your devices less … your family too.
- When engaged in a date, working out, movies, gatherings with friends, just put the phone on a side and forget about it for a while.
Who did we become?