When social media first started it was a way to stay in touch with friends and family, make new acquaintances, and promote hobbies or work. With billions of monthly active users on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube there is endless opportunity for us to share different aspects of our lives allowing others to peek into the significant moments of our lives, as well as smaller, day-to-day activities. From special moments like weddings to the coffee they just ordered, people document it all. But how honest are people when sharing on social media? And how does it affect people's emotions?
Social Media Pretence
Many people post photographs to portray their lives in a positive light. People want to be seen in their best light. But where is the line drawn? With many people posting happy relationships, a thriving career, gifted children, adventurous hobbies, or the world’s cutest baby.
The pressure and competition to curate a picture perfect life with only the best can lead to false realities. It can leave a false impression with followers, which leaves more people feeling that they have to try to live up to the lives they falsely believe others are leading.
"On social media, everyone appears to be living their best life all the time."
Some followers forget that social media is not real life. People can easily frame their lives as endlessly positive and exciting, leaving others feeling like they can’t compete. It’s important to remember that any social media accounts can be manipulated and altered to create a false representative of the real narrative. Something as simple as posting a false reality can have significant potential consequences for your mental health like:
According to research, a whopping 71% of those who use social media report that they see content that makes them angry. Another 49% experience depression, and 31% sometimes feel loneliness after viewing certain content.
The possibilities for faked fabulous lives on social media are endless, making it essential for everyone to understand that sometimes they need to view posts through a filter. What looks to have the potential of intended beneficial effects, can also inevitably have unintended harmful effects. Pretending to be happy can mask other conditions and understanding the impact of what living a fake life can have can help save lives in our communities.
Take social media at face value as it is not a genuine representative of what a person’s life is like. It’s also worth reviewing the way a person represents themselves on social media and questioning how much of it is an authentic look at their real lives, and how much is an attempt to fake a life they wish they were living?
While many people use social media out of a fear of missing out, people should beware if visiting social media websites makes them feel bad, and if it’s time to consider taking a break. Whether it’s a day, a week, or a month or forever time away will improve a person’s mood. The constant monitoring of everyone else’s updates and curated pictures takes time; which you can not get back ultimately an individual must make a decision about what is best for their mental health.
If you would like to speak to someone about the affects social media is having on you or advice check out https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/service/internet-addiction.htmlhttps://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/service/internet-addiction.html