The notion of being cool on social media is not something unfamiliar to us. Every person assumes that Every post, every reel, every TikTok and every video we see on social media is to look cool. You might also observe that we record only happy events on social media feeds. Adventurous trips, moments with family and funny pranks with friends are all we see on the platforms. But does it mean that they are genuinely as happy as their feeds seem? Does it mean they have found the cure to escape the loneliness or sadness in their lives? Well, people like to think so. And not only that, we are so self-indulged in other people’s lives on social media that we start to compare ourselves with them. The events regarding social media raise two critical questions.
Are we living a fake life on social media?
Are we assuming that someone is being fake on social media?
I believe that the truth is as plain as day and night. There are two sorts of people on social media. One that uses the platform to escape the reality of their lives. And the others who try to bring out the best in themselves, even on a deceived platform like social media.
The assumption of people depends on the power we give them. If we allow others to belittle us, we will always keep comparing ourselves to them. Hence, it makes us jealous of the other person’s life, and we shame ourselves into pursuing the vague concept of perfection. The pressure of being perfect and better than them gets the best of us and brings the worst out of us.
We are resulting in the subconscious belief that no one could ever be that good or that perfect. It, in turn, makes us create a self-illusion that the other person is being a fake on social media. We assume, irrespective of the truth, that the other person is self-centred and living a fake life to make ourselves feel better. Of course, this is only one type of population.
Instead of assuming that someone else is living a fake life on social media, the other type of population creates one themselves. The feeling of not being relatable or understandable makes us feel lonely from the inside. To escape the loneliness or the misery of our own lives and to match the societal standards at all times, we create a fake version of ourselves on social media.
There are many ways humankind use to escape or deny to face their reality, like alcohol, drugs, overwork, and more. The latest method is by using a social media platform. People find solace for a tiny moment by creating a fake life on social media. It is important to remember that escaping or denial only makes things worse and results in disconnection with ourselves.
There are certainly other aspects of the concept of being cool on social media as well. But simplifying them leads us to the two types mentioned above of population. It does not mean everyone on the platform is only trying to look cool. The world keeps evolving, and our society has always had rebels who, no matter what happened, adapted to change and lived their best versions. And so do people on social media.
Some humankind has adapted to social media and choose to live their genuine selves on the platforms. One might say that even these people seek validation from others. It might be true or false, and perhaps it might be only a theoretical assumption we make of others.
So, how do we figure out the social media game? And the real question is, what is the social media game? Is looking cool a part of it? Does one have to constantly post about life events to stay updated and be part of the social media game?
Some social media influencers will teach you unique methods to increase your followers on the platform. Some advice these influencers often give is to showcase your talents, regularly interact with your followers and keep your content fresh, unique and constant. Although these are useful and good advice, they might not work well for everyone.
So, how does one NOT create a fake life on social media? Or how does one NOT assume that people are being fake on social media? The correct answer is a blank. The alternative answer everyone is looking for is more complicated and profound than they think. The other alternative is that no matter what you perceive of yourself or others, remember that being vulnerable is a choice.
The social media game was never about living a fake or real life. The concept of social media was to ensure that people can communicate faster and more efficiently and form, develop and maintain relationships with people all around the globe. Social media does not come with a rule that one has to post about both the happy and sad versions of their lives online. It does not come with a bound of creating perfection or being vulnerable on the platform. Nor does the real world.
It is ok to post only happy versions of yourself.
It is ok to post only sad versions of yourself.
It is ok to want to share only certain aspects of your life.
It is ok to hide the elements you are not ready to face.
It is ok to be vulnerable.
And it is ok to be not vulnerable as well.
Any or all of the above things don’t have to mean that you are necessarily living a fake life in reality or on social media. And they certainly do not signify that constant comparison of parts of your life with others will help you live a better life. And perhaps we shall remind ourselves of these things as regularly as we post online.
Remember, being vulnerable is a choice.