I love social media. Facebook, instagram, snapchat, twitter, pinterest…they are all exciting and informative. We get to see things we would not have seen 15 years ago from all over the world.
We also get to spy into other people’s lives too. Come on, admit it, you have browsed through those photo albums too…and they are only a ‘friend’ of a ‘friend’. We all do it. I know I have.
Strange though isn’t it, we don’t go to a friend of a friend’s house and start rooting through their photo albums…but I digress.
The False World of Facebook and Instagram
If you were to believe every status that you read on Facebook and instagram you could be led into a false sense of doom, gloom, unhappiness and even mild depression.
Virtually every update, every wall is highlighting how successful, happy and great life truly is. Everyone is smiling, having fun and endless enjoyment. Almost everyone is bouncing up and down with sheer exhilaration!
And how wonderfully positive, upbeat and optimistic everyone else is! I want some of what they are having.
There are also all those smooshy, mushy couples out there. Posting photo’s galore of date nights and their undying love for each other.
Even the singletons are gloriously happy and content. “It will take a special person to get me because I have been happily single for so long,” is on the meme they post with conviction.
Holidays are all glorious. And we see all their shots of happy-smiley faces eating dinner or lay by a pool sipping cocktails and mocktails. Albums are devoted to the amazing and, ‘best holiday we have ever had’ and is uploaded before they get back.
Oh and health! Everyone else is radiating excellent health and spotless, wrinkle-free faces.
And then we get to their business endeavours…they are all doing far much better than we are. Sales are pouring in, clients love them and their empire is well on the way to being built. They have had some minor little problems for sure, but they have overcome them with ease (because they are so great at that).
What are these people on? What are they all doing that I am not? How can their life be so blissfully happy and positive so much of the time? I mean those photo’s and statuses’ aren’t lying – are they?
Sometimes, it makes me feel unhappy, unsuccessful and rather like some kind of moron.
Until I think about the real world.
But it’s so different for us…
We are mightily peeved off with lots of stuff in life right?
Most of the time our minds are filled with worry of an uncertain future, paying the bills and where we are going to go on holiday next year to ensure our posts are as exciting and wonderful as our friends.
Only yesterday, we had a huge argument with our loved one and we are still seething. Date night was aborted right after we put that photo up of us both smiling over a glass of red. Since then we haven’t spoken properly for days.
And us singletons? Yeah right, we just love rolling over in that big empty bed. Every night we are so happy with how much more room we have, right? Going to the cinema on our own is bliss. And holidays? Well we can go with our other singleton friends and frown upon those lovey-dovey couples.
And remind each other how lucky we are not to be ‘tied down’ and gloss over our “independant-nobody-tells-us-what-to-do” lives.
Or get ourselves a few dogs and base our life around them.
And when we go on holiday, the rep is nowhere to be found, the accommodation sucks and the weather isn’t half as nice as what the brochure said. And absolutely nothing like what our friends posted. Never mind, we can use our filters on instagram and ensure it looks a lot sunnier than when our friends went.
And if need be, we can airbrush a rather nice tan to our bodies whilst we are at it.
And of course we argued about whether to go the beach or stay by the pool; whether to eat paella at the harbour or steak at the resort. But quick, smile, we have to take a selfie.
And did I really put that photo up? The one with so many lines in my face on show?
In business meanwhile, we are struggling to make ends meet and finding it hard to attract clients. We work so many long and hard hours we can hardly stop to see how much more positive business advice has been thrown up on Facebook since we last looked.
Which was about an hour ago.
You see, you don’t see the real world on social media. Sure, you get the videos of cruelty to both humans and animals, but they are far, far away in a distant land. Far removed from our lives.
You see life is not all honey and roses all of the time. Don’t be fooled by the shiny, thin gloss of facebook and instagram statuses that people post. Life is nothing like that.
Of course nobody wants to know about your problems on facebook. How often do we unfollow people who are constantly moaning, day in and day out? But this in itself is part of the reason the illusion is caused.
But it can be quite easy to fall into the trap of thinking it is; that everyone else is living in some kind of Disney fairytale or Mills and Boon story.
This is an illusion.
Your problems, worries, concerns are not that unique even though the false sense of social media can lead you to think they are. If you could scratch beneath the surface of many a status, all those people have the same worries, concerns and even fears, that you sometimes have too.
You wouldn’t want anyone elses problems…
I read somewhere once that if you walked down your local street and picked 5 random people out and you all lined up and emptied your fears, worries, problems and concerns into an untidy pile in front of you and was asked to choose any pile to walk away with, guess whose you would choose?
Yes, that’s right: your own pile of problems.
So it would be the same with your ‘friends’ on social media too if you were to pick 5 at random. You would rather stick with what you have got.
So bear it in mind the next time you have seen a flurry of positivity from your friends. Remember, that you are not alone. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has some kind of worry, problem or issue going on in their life right now. And I don’t care what they are posting on social media.
But keep reading the meme’s (That make sense) you can find little nuggets of wisdom in them that can help you make your next status a little happier.