In the last couple of weeks I’ve had more than one discussion with friends regarding social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. – these friends indicating disdain for how most posts depict unrealistic PERFECTION – loving relationships, fantastic vacations, well-behaved and beautiful children…in general, wonderful, healthy lives.
I’ve been pondering these conversations and here’s what I think.
Reading about everyone else’s success and taking it to heart can be depressing and frustrating if your life status doesn’t match up. I, too, at times may find my life is lacking the pizazz I read about others having – their positive and perfect lives!
BUT, I think it would be even more depressing to read posts only showing how crummy life can be.
Imagine this – how happy would you feel after seeing posts about how someone just lost their job; someone’s child is dying of cancer; someone’s cousin’s husband relapsed for the 4th time; someone’s neighbor’s dog just bit their mother-in-law; someone’s dad hasn’t spoken to them in 3 years; and so-on??? (I suppose these types of down-on-luck posts could buoy you up as you consider your own problems which seem minor in comparison.)
Personally, I’d rather read the good stuff – embellished as it may be or not. I’d like to think we’re all astute enough to discern when someone is going overboard with posts about their glamorous life. We’re smart enough to know no one is immune from trials and tribulations.
I am a regular Facebook and Instagram reader – I read them daily, in fact. I mostly appreciate how I can keep up with the lives of family and friends that I don’t see often. I love seeing pictures of children and grandchildren, and being able to watch them grow. I enjoy others’ vacation pictures – imagining how nice it would be to see the places to which others travel that I might not. I don’t follow many celebrities, and I know many use social media to “sell” their own fame, movies, music, etc.; but, I am intrigued to see their posts…not unlike reading People magazine in the dentist’s office for the latest pop culture gossip.
I’m rarely offended or left feeling inferior reading the good stuff because I appreciate most things in my life and don’t want to begrudge anyone telling about the positive aspects of their life. I’m happy for them. I occasionally make those very types of posts myself, and don’t do it to show up others – rather, just show what I am grateful for.
Here is how I approach dealing with social media. The points seem very logical to me, but perhaps if you’re lamenting about how posts are so faux, you can adopt some of my strategies.
- I keep in mind that everyone has problems and nobody’s life is perfect – whether or not they tell every sordid detail of their life on Facebook or Instagram.
- I have the ability to scroll right past anything that bothers me, without reading it. (I actually do this regularly with posts that have anything to do with politics!)
- If somebody’s posts really get under my skin or annoy me, I hide the person or unfriend them.
- Sometimes I take a break and just don’t turn on my tablet or phone and therefore, am not exposed to outside influences in that way. (Who am I kidding – I am addicted and can’t imagine not checking in regularly!)
As for me, I will strive to make my posts about my life realistic and hopefully, uplifting. I don’t intend to complain about life’s unpleasant happenings for the most part. Everyone has their crosses to bear – don’t need to hear about mine unless exposing my issues in a humorous way can make readers smile or feel like they are not alone in dealing with everyday life.
And, meanwhile, I’ll continue to read Facebook and look at the photos on Instagram – enjoying them for what they are and not letting them bother me. If you use social media, I hope you can do the same.