Being social in real life vs being real on social media
If you live for the likes, you are really not living at all.
What is it like to live a life consumed by social media? Last June, Hifton Bros. produced a short film, What’s on your mind, that went viral. The video received over 13,000,000 views, stirring discussions on various platforms about the incongruence between social media and real life.
I am sure that for most of us, our conscience is pricked after watching this video. Even if the video seems overly dramatised, it still raises an important question: are we using social media or are we allowing it to use us?
I felt a lingering sense of emptiness after seeing how this man in the video kept seeking validation from likes on his Facebook. Later, I realised that my social media habits are somewhat similar to his. Consciously or unconsciously, I find myself checking my phone for Instagram notifications until the responses give me my desired satisfaction.
When everyone starts portraying their life through tinted lenses, our own reality begins to look very mundane. Filtered photos with perfect lighting, beautiful backgrounds, posed facial expression and descriptive captions contribute to a fantasy culture that makes people delusional about real life.
Does this look familiar to you?
Not to make anyone feel guilty, but sometimes we get so self-absorbed we run the risk of being hypocritical – posting things that do not accurately reflect our lives. How different would things be if people only posted true and accurate reflections on these social media platforms?
From my personal experiences, I have friends who do not own any social media accounts but are extremely friendly and expressive. There are also those who chose not to be active on these platforms but are still outgoing and approachable. Social media itself is not essential in making us social people.
I think it is time for us to stop trying so hard to reflect perfect lives on social media and start living real lives to the fullest.
Of course, the pressure to keep up with these posts is real, and feelings of jealousy or inferiority are challenging to avoid. However, the moment you feel free to be yourself, the chase will eventually come to an end.
Whether you post mundane, exciting or ugly moments, the realness of your content will inspire others to have the confidence to be truthful on their social media feed as well!
It is time to start using social media the right way, and not let it use you instead.