You know what I’m sick of? People complaining that social media is ruining everything. “People never talk to each other any more and just stare at their phones instead”. “Everything on social media is filtered and fake”. “Everyone is unrealistically happy and perfect online”. Well, I’ve got news for you: it’s not social media that’s the problem, it’s you.
Yes, it’s true that we all tend to present a slightly idealistic view of ourselves on our social media, but just because we pick the best selfie out of a bunch of 10 or 20 different angles doesn’t mean it’s not real life. Just because we want to share nice photos of sunsets and cakes and lipsticks doesn’t mean we don’t get ill or have bad days or go through hardships. Sometimes, if life is feeling a bit rubbish, it’s rather lovely to have a scroll through your own Instagram page and remind yourself of lots of happy things. I want to be able to remember that meal with my best friends or that afternoon in the park with my boyfriend or that weekend on holiday with my family – and if that means I whip out my phone and take a couple of minutes to rearrange the plates and the cutlery on the table for a pretty aerial shot, then so be it.
You must be pretty naive if you think someone’s Twitter profile or Facebook page is a full and accurate representation of that person’s life. Complaining that “real people” can’t live up to these perfectly filtered high standards is a ridiculous notion because we all know that these accounts are like a highlights reel rather than a 24/7 running commentary. Surely you’re guilty of it yourself, no? Detagging a Facebook photo because your face looks a bit weird, or uploading an Instagram photo of your bedroom only after you’ve picked all your dirty washing up off the floor? And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just because you select which photos to use doesn’t make them any less real; they all still happened and they all still hold memories which otherwise might be lost and forgotten.
Social media accounts are personal (even ones which feature adverts or paid content) and so you can share exactly what you want to; nobody expects you to share every single thing in order for you to be “authentic”. On the other hand, if you do want to share the not-so-perfect things then just do it, you go Glen Coco. The same rules apply for social media as for general life: don’t be a dick, don’t lie, be yourself and do what makes you happy. So, really, if you think social media is the problem then you just need to get a grip, lighten up and maybe switch off your notifications for an hour or two.