If you follow me on Twitter (which you totally should be btw, I’m hilarious…), you may have seen my mini rant about a comment I read regarding social media. Before I continue, this comment was made by a random person I don’t know on someone else’s Facebook, so I’m not going behind anyone’s back by talking about what they said. Anyway, what they said was this, ‘I’m no good at social media because I’m rubbish at faking life’. Whatever context they actually meant this in, I don’t know and I’ll never find out but it’s no secret that lots and lots of people all over the social media-sphere share this view. You might be one of them.
The whole, “Are we lying to everyone? Is social media ‘fake’?” discussion isn’t new but it also, by all means, isn’t over. Until the Earth crumbles and dies or something a bit less dramatic, whilst we use social media, people will be discussing whether it is a true reflection of our lives. Whether we are being true to ourselves, our friends, our followers (if we’re a blogger or on Twitter). Whether what we are or are not sharing is deemed ‘lying‘ because we chose to leave things out for whatever reason. Everyone on social media will have shared good news to their friends or followers – celebrated, albeit virtually, achievements or good times. Everyone on social media will also have failed to mention to their friends or followers a lost job, a break-up, a bereavement or simply a bad day. Are we bad people or liars for failing to show the boring, mundane and unhappy parts of our lives to those we don’t hesitate to scream at whenever something good happens?
At the time of writing this, I’m sitting in my bed at quarter to 1 in the afternoon with a giant granddad jumper on that, quite frankly, stinks because it’s barely washed. Loose Women are on the TV and there are tissues scattered around me because my hay-fever is super duper bad at this time of the year. Nothing particularly good has happened today. Nothing particularly bad has happened either but all-in-all, it’s a pretty average day. Life isn’t always glamorous. For me, for you, for Beyoncé. I don’t believe that failing to tell four thousand people on Twitter every time you’re doing a wee, taking out the rubbish or defrosting the freezer equates to you lying or being in any way untruthful as to what your life is or isn’t like from the point of view of social media.
I for one definitely don’t tell people the whole story. Apart from close friends, my counsellor and a small group of bloggers of whom I’m in a supportive WhatsApp group with really know the darker sides of my life. I’m all for sharing things on social media, talking about tough subjects, being open about my anxiety and other aspects in the hope that it will encourage others to be open about them too but you’d be very naïve in thinking that that’s my whole story. That despite these hurdles, my life plods along just fine and I deal with them when they crop up then go back to happy Jenny in Neverland. You would be so wrong in thinking that but, do those facts make me a liar? I think not. Every single person in the entire world – social media users or not – is entitled to their privacy.
But, I think society is quick to judge the Twitter users, the bloggers, the YouTubers on that matter because you chose to share you life on the internet therefore it’s not realistic to keep the negative stuff away from it. I don’t agree with that at all and I do think, albeit mostly the bigger bloggers and bigger YouTuber’s, do have a tough time of it sometimes with hundreds, if not thousands of people all poking their nose in to a matter which has nothing to do with them until the blogger / YouTuber in question feels they have no choice but to tell everyone the problem. Although this is an exaggerated version of my point and one most of us probably won’t experience.
So, so what if you edit your photos? So what if you arrange your food in an aesthetically pleasing way just for the sake of the camera only to then smother it in tomato sauce straight after. So what if you blog in bed, with your dog on your lap and crisps in your hair when you’re writing a post about an exotic getaway or a fancy product that you have no intention of using at that time. So what if things don’t seem how they are. If, as a blogger, you want to showcase the best parts of your life and keep the negative parts to yourself. I don’t believe anyone should feel pressured to tell the internet their problems – unless they want to. Nor feel judged either way.