I know that a every single person uses social media for different reasons. I understand that our motives for posting certain things and leaving out others are all over the board ranging from wanting to feel accepted to a deep rooted craving for attention. With all the recent outrage going on about social media being “fake” and “unrealistic”, I’ve tried to become outraged. I’ve tried to see where all of the outrage is even coming from. I’ve tried to be mad at people I follow for “lying” to me in the way they portray their lives. I’ve tried to find outrage inside me because I KNOW that you DID NOT wake up like that. I know that you sometimes kind of think your kids are jerks. I know that you don’t love every single meal that your mother-in-law cooks for you. I know that sometimes you absolutely hate being single. I know that sometimes you fantasize about telling your boss exactly what you think and never coming back. The problem is this: I’m not outraged. Not even a little bit.
I truly AM NOT upset by all the editing and “lies” that I am encountered with on social media every day: here’s why:
1. Your social media posts are about you, not your followers
When you upload a perfectly filtered and edited picture or post to social media, you’re doing that for yourself. You’re doing it for your own need to be liked or wanted or accepted, and if you’re able to get that from social media, I can’t really be upset about that.
2. You’re wanting to connect in a way that you’re missing right now
Maybe its social media to blame for this or maybe it’s BECAUSE social media exists in the first place that you have an outlet in a world that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Maybe social media has helped you overcome social anxiety. Maybe social media has helped you to keep in touch with old friends and long distance relatives. Because of social media you are able to reach people in a way that is truly unique to our generation, and I can’t really be upset about that.
3. You’re curating a life that you desire to have
By only posting amazing, beautiful pictures of yourself or self-deprecating jokes that help you laugh at flaws you want to wish away, you are able to create a world where you love yourself. By only showing yourself and your moments in the best light (and angle) possible, you are designing a life that you are proud to be leading. Even if that self-love and pride is only present when you are logged into your app reading glowing comments from your friends, that’s more love than you might give yourself otherwise, and I can’t really be upset about that.
4. Your online presence is your family archive
When you post about how your heart could explode with joy at the sound of your daughter’s laugh or that you just had the BEST glass of wine of your life, you are archiving memories that you will be able to retrieve later with just a click of a button. You post moments and memories that you want to remember years down the road. You write your newborn son loving, heartfelt messages on social media so that one day (far, far away) he can log in and see your total devotion in black and white, from way back when. If you don’t want to remember the days your daughter cried more than laughed or the terrible dinner experience on your wedding anniversary, I can’t really be upset about that.
We’re all doing the best we can, and if we only want to highlight the best and greatest on social media, we can’t really be upset at each other about that.