Social media is a world of fakery.
We want everyone to think our lives are undamaged and perfectly fine, while in reality we might not be. Every picture we post is an opening to weakness, and every like or comment is another hit, to feel good; a social media “high”.
My instagram is a fantastic example of this. I have a mere 162 followers on there, yet on a day to day basis in real life, I talk to at most 20 people.
Everyone “present(s) an idealized portrait of their lives- a nicer, friendlier, duller self” (Ellis, Bret. Living in the Cult of Likability) to show others that yes, “I have great, fun things, I travel and eat great food, and I have a fantastic life”. We want people to see how good we have it.
Like most teenagers, I too have most of all the social media sites, such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and tumblr. The apps I am most active on are tumblr and instagram. They make up about half of my daily routine. I wake up, check my instagram feed, and like about 95% of the posts, regardless if I like the meaning behind it or feel the person deserves a like. It’s habitual.
Scroll. Double tap. Scroll. Double tap. Repeat until you reach old posts you’ve already liked. Close app. Open tumblr. Scroll. Like. Reblog. Read a fanfic. Add a couple funny hashtags. Reblog.
Here’s a short film by the Higton Bros, called “What’s on Your Mind?” which is about a man who tries to make everyone think his life is perfect on Facebook, while in reality his life is falling apart.
And, as cliché and repetitive as this sounds, this spoke to me. My instagram is filled with photography from different places I had traveled to over vacations, such as Costa Rica, San Fransisco (for my birthday), and my most recent trip being Thailand, I have, and I am not ashamed to admit, since probably everyone has/had done this- obscure the whole picture.
A great example of this would be the picture my brother took a picture of me hanging off the side of a train at the River Kwai in Thailand, and it was one of the most dangerous shots I had done, since the train was fast, the rail I held on to was slick with rain, and the branches on the side of the tracks would whip against the sides of the train every so often. Yes, I’m smiling in the picture, but I was shaking because I was scared I would slip.
My small takeaway/ advice/ comments:
Post whatever makes you happy.
Don’t be another brick in the wall, or another person in a little box made of ticky-tacky, all the same.
If you have a picture, and a really great story behind it, tell people about it. But please, please don’t do this:
And don’t lie.