A like for a like. A follow for a follow. We will upload anything that will make us appear happy and popular and we will delete any sign of our ugly reality. Our generation has become obsessed with our online image and consumed by other people’s thoughts and, if we’re not careful, a damaged sense of self-worth is going to be the least of our problems.
These days social media is pumped full of “candid” photo shoots, revenge-bod snaps and look-at-me selfies and I, for one, am so over it. Gone are the days of capturing genuine joy and gone are the days of uploading anything resembling the truth.
As a generation, we feel pressure to constantly be having fun, to be doing something exciting and to be living up to the lifestyle that we, and most of our friends, have splashed all over social media. This means that our dismal dog walk will hilariously feature on our Instagram, our coffee break with a mildly amusing mug will be captioned, hashtagged and shown for a full 10 seconds on our Snapchat story and our soul-sucking 30-minute workout will be made to mirror one of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s infamous iron pumps – which will, of course, make the cut for our new profile pic. All of these occasions will be made out to be the best times of our lives and, most importantly, it will make everyone else feel like they’re missing out.
It is this exact feeling that simmers beneath the surface of every social media post that really riles me up. People want you to feel like you’re not as fun and definitely not as happy. People create these photo opportunities to make you question yourself and your happiness and yet, although this attitude is infuriatingly transparent, it continues to live on by popular demand.
No one is that happy all the time and I’m not just saying that. In the real world, in the place where perfect doesn’t exist, no one is that happy all the time and thank God – I can barely tolerate the fakery for a couple of minutes. What do we gain from bombarding our profiles with toothy grins at times when we’re too tired, too hurt, too angry to be that smiley? Have we forgotten what real is because the truth doesn’t get us likes?
The sooner we embrace reality, the beauty and the ugliness, the more conversations can be opened, stigmas destroyed and social morality restored. These trivialities have already cost us time; it can’t cost us our sanity too.