SnapChat me the truth: social media and the lies it tells
Your life doesn’t suck but your Facebook account does.
I’ve always heard of friends saying they need to take a break from their social media accounts. Digital detoxes, they called it. Some would even take it a step further and go on meditation retreats in the woods with a bunch of strangers and zero Wifi. Constantly plugged into our devices, it makes sense why an escape into the wilderness would seem enticing, but it also had me thinking about the damage all of this ‘connecting’ has done to us.
Before, strangers were wrapped in mystery, their lives only colored in by what they said or showed you. But now, everything is out in the open, the sharing of personal tidbits on the Internet not a trend, but a way of life.
No longer are you left in the dark about stranger’s past. A quick scroll through Facebook and Instagram will give you all the details you need to make an informed decision. It’ll also provide you with a carefully curated view, one that was created just for purveyors like yourself.
Aside from the heavy use of filters and photo distortion, social media propels us to share things that are ‘shareable’. And shareable usually means ‘happy’. Show the world that you’re living your best life, crowding your timeline with images of happy friends, gorgeous sceneries, loud pyrotechnic concerts and the like. When someone stumbles on your digital life, they will be impressed, and they will want to be like you.
This impression can lead to a bunch of disastrous results, like putting the wrong white man in office (is there really a right one?). These digitally designed profiles make it harder to discern the real from the fake. And therefore, it makes it harder to enjoy our actual lives because we are constantly comparing it to the social lives of people we will never meet.
From ex-lovers to celebrities, everyone is displaying their most ‘intimate’ moments, giving you insight on what you’re not around to participate in. you have yet to meet (but know everything about), are not posting images of themselves arguing with family members, crying in front of strangers, lamenting about how unfulfilled their life is. No, instead you’ll see them on vacation, at the bar drinking down a celebration or trying out a new activity.
A common theme? Happiness.
Double fisted with search tools, we are naturally inclined to Google the shit out of everything leaving no pixel unturned. We are nosy creatures, the Internet playing into our base desires of wanting to know everything, yet leaving us more dumbfounded than when we started.
What do we really know? About said person, about the world. The sheer amount of information, data and disclosure that is available today still leaves us wondering, confused. It leaves us in search of the answer, or worse, satisfied with the lies that are bolded in bigger font.
The point of posting quippy lines and snarky jokes is to make ourselves seem clever. Not to tell the truth.
The goal of changing profile pictures and nagging our friends with stories is to make them jealous. Not to tell the truth.
The intent of tagging and timelining our lives is to make it more interesting for an outsider. Not to tell the truth.
We might just be better off closing our eyes, instead of readily swallowing up false updates with voracity.
A wise one once told me, “Pay attention, mind your business.” Everyone’s story, everyone’s outing is not really any of your business to creep in on. So the next time you catch yourself lingering a little too long on someone’s page, just remember. You won’t find the truth there.
You’ll find it within yourself.
Your digital timeline is not your real timeline. Start living your life offline.
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