I have this love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, social media creates a connection between people, content, and businesses that we really didn’t have a decade ago. But like all good things, there’s a dark side.
The dark side of social media is the perception of perfection. We are all guilty of it, even those of us who don’t have shame in posting photos of toddlers behaving badly. From fabulous foods to glamorous vacations; Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are filled with them. But the truth of the matter is, it’s only a portion of the story. The best part, yes — but it’s not all great all the time.
Social Media and Our Perception of Reality
Take 140 seconds and watch this video. It explains how we see social media, how it is ruining our perception of reality and why you shouldn’t take other people’s photos too seriously.
Take Social Media For What It’s Worth
What can we learn from this? Take social media for what it’s worth. Understand that behind the perfection are flaws. I wish everyone would post a little more about the bumps in the road. We see all the fabulous moments, but in reality it’s only a snippet of truth. Behind the fabulous vacation was the hours of packing, fighting with the kids, delayed plane rides, rude locals, crappy hotel rooms. Those are the in-between moments that we aren’t posting.
Posting Reality of Life
This week, I was suppose to be in Dearborn, MI at an event for Ford. I was so excited to get away and attend the conference. Late last week, I herniated a disc in my back leaving me unable to walk. It’s been an awful week, being completely helpless and having to watch the photos from the conference litter the internet. After watching this video, I kept telling myself, “There is more to the story. It can’t be ALL fun!”
I think we all should post a little more balance of the good and bad on the interwebs. I have no qualms about posting the crazy my toddlers put me through. But putting myself and my issues out there? I tend to not focus on me whenever possible. Then last week, while I was drugged on morphine in the hospital (why in the hell did my husband let me have my phone?), I posted a picture from the ER. Thinking back, I am glad I posted this. I want my kids to someday look back at photos and remember that not everything in life is good. I personally want to look back at that photo and remember how precious simple things in life are, like being able to walk and how much this time sucked.
The video shows people not following the truth, when he admits his life sucks — but that’s far from it. I have seen time and time again, when someone falls down, friends on social media pick them up. So much so, in one case when an acquaintance had alluded to suicide — his community sought him immediate assistance.
Be Authentic, Be Real, Be YOU
Can we all take a step to be more authentic and not create this fantasy life for ourselves on social media? When we look back at what we post, let’s utilize social media to tell our true story: fabulous vacations, bumps in the road, yummy foods we’ve tried, herniated discs and all.