Social Media: The Epic Fairytale Of Our Time.
With more than 69 percent of the American population using some form of social media on a regular basis, it’s no wonder that our online lives have become highly curated versions of the truth. We proudly show off our milestones, our purchases, and outfits that make us look like a million bucks while conveniently obscuring the piles of dishes, late mortgage payments, and dreadful jobs. “Years ago, ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ was walking out your front door and looking at the new car in your neighbor’s driveway thinking, ‘How did they afford that?’ Nowadays, we see every detail of people’s lives right in the palm of our hand as we scroll through social media on our cell phones. We not only see the new car they bought, but we see the upgrades they did inside their homes, their promotions at work, pictures of their child’s straight-A report cards and just how ‘perfect’ their lives are.
As we view the amazing slideshow of Mr. & Ms. Jones and all their perfection, some make the mistake of comparing, feeling jealous, as well as feelings of anxiety and frustration However, we must be aware that what we see on social media is often a carefully crafted slideshow or ‘highlight reel’ of the best parts of people’s lives. Social media posts are often a strategically taken photo with a caption that is slightly embellished to some degree.” I spoke candidly in a blog I authored awhile back about my use of filters on some of my images. If we're completely honest, we do compare or measure ourselves in conjunction to something externally. Even if it’s momentary I believe we've all had those feelings at some point.
As much as we've seen the proliferation in the use of social media, some people are determined to use it, or not use it make a statement about what's really important. Case in point is what Eighteen-year-old Essna O'Neill an Instagram celebrity known for posting glamorous photos. Essna informed her followers she was quitting social media but prior to doing so, she committed an unexpected act of courage. In one brave act, she elevated herself to a modern day Joan of Arc status. Prior to quitting Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and Snapchat, Essna decided to change the captions on each of her photos to reflect the way she says she really felt when they were taken.
Ex. “Took over 100 in similar poses trying to make my stomach look good” wrote O’Neill, next to a photo of her posing in a bikini on the beach. “Would have hardly eaten that day.” What Essna didn't realize was her courageous act touched millions of people around the world and possibly saved just as many.
Another misleading example of the fictional/nonfictional world of social media is the way it can make us singles feel like, "what's wrong with me?" We all have people in our social media network that seem obscenely happy. You know that couple, we're truly happy for but at the same time we just want to say, "ok I get it, you're in love," hahaha. They always appear to be on perpetual vacation or romantic dinner dates. Every post shows an always smitten or besotted look. However, those happy posts are largely lies of omission: they don’t show the near-breakup fights, the worries about how bills are going to get paid, or those tense conversations about why someone’s ex was sliding into someone’s DMs. It’s usually not the Harlequin Romance like relationships we see online.
Our seemingly perfect neighbors, family and friends are also guilty of the old social media slight of hand. When you observe social media posts, we must take them with a grain of salt. Remember, you are taking one caption from someone and comparing it to your entire life.” You can never know the whole story based on an isolated quote. The bottom line is this; you and I are exactly where we're supposed to be and whom we're supposed to be with (that also includes with no one) at this moment in time. Even as I write this post, time continues to pass and who knows what the future holds for you and I?
Cheers Beautiful People!
Veronica, Philly's Favorite Lifestyle Guru