Social Media and Real Life: Fake²
Everyone goes on about the fake-ness of social media and how it doesn’t reflect real life; but this “fakeness” isn’t limited to the online world. When is the last time you asked someone “how are you?…” and they replied something along the lines of… “well, I barely slept last night because I can’t stop worrying about the fact my partner doesn’t support me anymore, also I have a terrible relationship with food, hate my body, and my kid is becoming a bigger asshole with every passing day and I don’t know what to do about it” ? Yeah, probably never. We’re auto-piloted to either say “good” or “tired”.
This illusion we portray on social media is no different than the illusion we portray in real life. People are always putting on fronts, trying to show themselves as having their shit together way more than they actually do. Generally complaints are actually masquerading as humble brags and even complaints like “oh, I’m so tired” is just a reflection of showing off their busy lifestyle, bustling social life, or thriving career. We wear make-up, spanks, and clothes that accentuate our figure in just the right way. We dye and straighten our hair, get botox injections and paint our nails. We dress according to the standards of the current fashion. We take anti-depressant medication or smoke weed to feel more “normal”.
What’s the point of this rant? Well, just awareness of what is. I’m not even saying anything mentioned above is innately good or bad- it just is. We’re so quick to say social media is fake but the reality is life itself is pretty fake. Everyone is obsessing to a degree about the way they are being judged and perceived by the world- be it the online world or the “real” world, and the first step to disengaging from all the fakery is just to observe it. Acknowledge it. Be aware of your tendencies, of your insecurities, and the ways in which you try to manipulate your life to fit into the expectations that society has set- not only online, but in your day to day existence. The ways in which you label yourself and try to define your being.
Because the reality is we are not stagnant. Life is cyclical, humans are cyclical. We are both the light and the darkness; and are not defined by our clothes, our job, our hobbies, our actions, our words, or even our thoughts. We are everything, and nothing. All these things we cling to to define ourselves (be it in real life or social media) are but an aspect of our duality. We are good and we are bad, we are in constant flux- changing, growing, transforming.
……and then laugh it off, because life is absurd.