THE BLOG

Why Do We Still Get Confused Between Fake and Real?

06/11/2015 05:58 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2016
Shutterstock / nevodka

As a student, it is very easy to spend days where I scroll through Facebook as a form of procrastination. I can probably say that I speak for many my age when I say that I am friends with people with whom I have absolutely zero interaction, apart from online.

These two things mean that you can become an expert in someone's 'online life,' without actually not knowing what they are like at all or whether they are actually happy. Facebook seems to have become an instrument for people to show their friends list how good their lives are and how much fun they're having, even if this isn't reality. Even the more honest posts often don't show the true depth of what someone is dealing with or are put on social media afterwards, instead of right at the time.

I have friends on Facebook that I know are struggling, but their profiles tell a very different story and almost show them to have the 'perfect life.' I have also been at parties or events where, to be honest, the night was awfully boring, but people have posted the next day with loads of photos, calling it 'the best night ever.'

This is because you can choose what elements of your life you put on social media. Therefore, it is very unlikely that Facebook or Twitter will give you the full picture, both the good and the bad.

Although on the surface there is nothing inherently wrong with people wanting to have had a good time, the issue comes when people read these posts and forget that no one is 100 percent happy all of the time. It is very easy to become envious of the impressions of someone that can come across on social media.
It is very easy to be negative about your own friendships, achievements and experiences if they feel imperfect in comparison. After all, nothing is completely perfect all of the time and you know the reality of your own situation much better than anyone else's.

This seems to reflect a wider picture of how we see other people that we only know from a distance. Most celebrities have teams of people that get them ready for any sort of event and further people who spend time airbrushing all photos or films, as well as personal trainers and dieticians to keep in shape. However, many still feel as though we should be living up to the narrow constraints of beauty that our celebrity culture puts on us.

Many well-known celebrities have started to open up about why they aren't naturally as perfect as we believe and most people love their honesty (for example, why so many are now obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence.) But, for some reason, we find it difficult to remember this when a new photo or film is released.

Of course it is understandable that many people would rather not share their most private thoughts and issues with tons of strangers, but we need to remember this. Whilst I think my generation needs to have more integrity about our posts on social media and perhaps try to be true to reality, we mainly need constant reminding that if you only interact with someone online or from a distance, you don't truly know all of their emotions and thoughts and you don't know how they spend almost all the hours that they are awake in a day.

We need to remember that social media is often not an accurate representation of all aspects of someone and to stop trying to live up to something that, honestly, is unliveable.