Monday, February 15, 2016

Truthful Social Media

Ding.... Ding... Bzzzzz.  Ring Ring Ring RING RING RING!  Social media is here to stay - its been prying its way into our lives, gluing students to their phones, but also has given us a platform to spread our messages.  We are constantly connected, searching for immediate gratification, knowing that everything we could possibly need is at our fingertips.  In some ways it can be like an addiction.

However, social media has the ability to be used for good.  Social media itself isn't making these ethical choices - its up to the owners of the accounts of what to post.  Many post their lives on Facebook... or what we think is their lives.  In reality, when you scroll through someones page all you see is happy photos, or their latest adventure, and the last meal they ate.  This positivity is great - except when it is taken too far.

Many people compare their lives to the ones on Facebook - but they aren't really getting the true picture.  It may look like someone is really livin' it up, but in reality they are holed up at home on the computer all day taking photos specifically to enhance their profile.  When they compare lives though, they aren't comparing a friends Facebook directly to their Facebook page which also has many nice photos of good moments, but instead compare their friends Facebook to their real life.

The question then arises, is it our responsibility to show these people that Facebook isn't our true life?  Should there be a disclaimer explaining that what you see on social media is only the very delicately hand picked moments of people's lives?

If we were actually posting our real life on social media, it wouldn't be as popular.  People would become bored - even with the most amazing people in the world.  Could you imagine:

  • 6 AM - Just woke up... way too early!
  • 7 AM - Breakfast with the cat, mmmm we love porridge
  • 8 AM - Stuck in traffic on the way to work... typical.
  • 9 AM - Gotta love that water cooler chit chat
  • 10 AM - Good time for a smoking break and a selfie
That is one of the reasons that people are embellishing their profiles.  I have nothing against someone who doesn't want to post every detail of their life.  I just feel that it might be a consideration to show people that social media is not real life.  In theory we all know that, but when you scroll through the feed you can't help but feel that you are the only one not taking amazing vacations every other week.  

Social media is a great tool to connect with others, it really gives them a window into your life - but be careful what you post.  The tiny embellishments are making a big impact on your social circle - just as your friend's profiles make an impact on you.  Humans can't be amazing 100% of the time - and that is OK.  Hopefully this will lead to a more positive social media experience, with a tad of reality mixed in.

Tell me what you guys think: is it our responsibility to ensure people understand our profiles are just played up pieces of our lives?  Have you ever felt badly because of others seemingly perfect lives on social media? I would love to see your comments below!

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