Social Media: Are we living a lie?

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.

Social Media Are We Living a Lie

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.

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31 thoughts on “Social Media: Are we living a lie?

  1. Fab post! I really don’t think it’s a massive issue that people just put up pics of what they want, and exactly….I’m not doing to post a pic of me ironing because ‘that’s real’…..so is everything else! Just a matter of interesting content 🙂

    • Thank you (: and I agree – to be honest, I don’t WANT to see the negative and/or boring parts of people I follow’s lives! Unless they need help or advice or are talking about an important issue, the reason I follow them is because they’re interesting (: xx

  2. Brilliant post! Getting your own corner of the Internet and share a passion, some of your issues, cooking recipes, doesn’t mean you must share everything in your life. Keeping things to yourself or your friends, or whoever you want is not lying. I don’t feel having a blog should transform me into a Kardashian and that I should let the world know when I’m having my eyebrows plucked if I don’t want to. I don’t mind people who do, but there is no obligation, no pressure to follow that example. A blogger’s life is no more glamorous than any other. I don’t feel like tweeting I’m writing this comment while eating a giant chunk of baguette filled with Nutella, and it is okay. I might write later than I am having a bad hair day, and it is okay. That is called freedom, or privacy, not lie. As far as I am concerned, I am doing my best not to bring any negativity on my blog, so I don’t really talk about my problems, except for a few mentions of my BFF called Insomnia and a couple of tweets claiming I hate Mondays or Fridays depending on what day life decides to be a bitch! 🙂

    • Haha you have a fantastic outlook on this topic! I agree with you, definitely. I just feel sometimes, people think that if you’re CHOOSING to put your life online, like we are, then we should involve everything you know? Not try and make it seem more glamorous than it is xx

  3. I agree with you! I don’t share everything on social media, then again I don’t share everything in real life neither. Sure, with some people, but not with everyone I know. If something bad happens, I might just put on a smile and go on. I don’t need every single person in RL or on social media to know all the details. That would be completely unrealistic.

  4. Omg, i so agree with you! I have bipolar, but I almost never talk about it. If you follow me on my blog or social media, you would think I live this glamorous bloggy life. Those who know the real me and the dark side have told me I am “living” especially my mother but my blog grew bigger than I ever thought and I really don’t think all those people want to hear about the days I can’t muster up the gumption to shower but yet post pics of me blogging outside and acting like I am living the life. Am I living? I don’t think so. I AM outside lol. Even Beyonce has bad days, but you don’t see her posting about it. In the beginning it seems cathartic but once your blog grows past a certain point it just becomes creepy I think.

    • Oh yes I totally see where you’re coming from and I’m sorry to hear about your bipolar, I do hope you’re okay. I think this could be a whole different argument, people with illness, mental illness, physical illnesses or disabilities and who have a blog – do we make it appear like we have more of a life or at least a different type of life than what we really do? Maybe xx

      • i will admit to making my life look more glamourous than it really is..i dunno why I do that but i seem to feel like i havta “keep up” with the people i went to college with. ahh well…

    • That’s true. Someone telling me they’re doing a wee and haven’t washed their hair in a week probably wouldn’t make me dislike them from the other side of my computer screen though! (if it was up close, that might be different haha)

  5. Great post! Yes, it is more likely that you’ll put up the food that you made that (finaally) turned out perfect, or the picture where all the kids smiled at the one time, or a holiday snap, but it’s because you want to share that it was something different that happened. Social media should always be taken with a pinch of salt, must mostly it’s a nice, enjoyable break from the mundanity of normal life!

    • Social media should always be taken with a pinch of salt is the most ACCURATE phrase for this topic! It so so should and whilst you should admire someone’s perfect meal they cooked or the perfect day out they had, you never ever know what’s really going on, you know? xx

  6. Fab post! As a blogger I feel it’s important to keep parts of your life (whether that be good parts or bad parts) just for yourself and those closest to you.

  7. This is such a good post and I agree with you, Jenny. I definitely blog in bed with crisps in my hair at the same time as writing exotic travel destinations. I’m absolutely selective about what I post on social media – I’ll tell you my news and show you a fun photo and I’ll share a ‘wow’ moment in my life and adorable pics of my beautiful grandson – but I won’t show you a pic of my horrendously infected foot when I cut it in Thailand and I don’t share all my episodes of food poisoning and the details of occasional days spent very close to a bathroom (hazards of living in the tropics). I’m in the camp that thinks leaving stuff out of social media is fine and it’s not being dishonest.
    Janice xx

    • Thanks Janice and yes I agree (: I don’t think it’s being dishonest. Maybe you should write something about the realities of travelling and living in those types of places? Would be interesting to see the realities behind the perfect photos and paradise beaches! xx

  8. Great post 🙂 I can see both sides of it. I think the main thing about social media (not so much blogging, but Facebook and Instagram and such) is that we use it as a basis of comparison to our own lives. For instance, I have a really close friend who is always posting about how she’s in the PERFECT relationship and always posting pictures that make her life look really fun and awesome and happy. And I KNOW her, so I know that her life isn’t like that at all. She has major money problems and her boyfriend and her are about to break up every other day. So I see that and I think– huh, I wonder how many people don’t know her and are looking at this and feeling jealous of her life for NO REASON bc that’s not even her life at all!! So yeah, I guess it’s just the people that really try to be something that they’re not that kind of bug me. Because while they are doing that, other people are comparing their lives to something that doesn’t even remotely exist. This is also why I try to stay away from Facebook… too many pissing contests going on 😦 GREAT POST!!

    • Ugh that’s infuriating! I can totally understand though, Facebook especially is the breeding ground for comparing your life against someone else’s but you definitely don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.

  9. This is a fantastic post! I absolutely agree with everything you said 🙂 One of the reasons I started blogging was to help me focus on all of the good things in my life, as a way of helping me on days when my mental health was bad. I want my blog to remind me of all of the happy moments so I can look back and be cheered up, and that definitely doesn’t make me a liar or mean that I’m hiding my ‘real’ life 🙂

    http://www.raiin-monkey.blogspot.com

  10. Excellent post, I hate this type of argument, I love celebrating peoples successes on social media, even old school friends who you’ve not seen or spoken to in years – I love seeing that they have gotten married or had a baby, social media is an easy way to share and celebrate all that’s good!

    Leanne | http://easilypleased.org

  11. Pingback: MP Podcast — 67 | Multiple Perspectives

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