Take a look at the last four images you shared on Instagram, is that your real life? I don’t think so, I believe that’s more similar to the life you’d love to have. But, yes, it is funny when we play this game.
We all get caught up in the world of aspirations we find on social media, first of all, because we can design the life we would love to have, choosing just the embellished side, and secondly, because our biggest idols are now closer to us than ever. We follow their daily lives, we know everything they do, it feels like they’re talking to us. Furthermore, social media has created new social media icons we follow just because they are cool on social media. They make beautiful pictures, eat at elegant restaurants, wear trendy clothes…. and for us, that’s enough, we follow them and somehow, we aspire to be like them. We don’t realize they are working, we assume that is how they live. We don’t care whether they are alone at that elegant restaurant, or how much are they getting paid for that post on Instagram. Instead, we imitate them, or at least we try to.
So far this could simply be a new means of entertainment, but do you actually see Instagram as entertainment? Or do you take it seriously? What has compelled me to write these lines is the feeling that we have created a parallel reality based on appearances and that we accept as actual reality. And we seem to look for others’ approval just because of what we show on social networks. It is like we are worth the likes or followers we get, it doesn’t matter if you get up early everyday and do your best at work for hours, that is not success anymore. We care about what we say on Instagram or Facebook and we only say good things on there. So, what happens when we turn off social media? We must go back to our own world, where the social media filters didn’t fix any imperfections.
I love social media, and I’m fascinated by the huge impact it is having on our lives. But sometimes it feels like we use it as filters for our own lives, which can make us so frustrated, always comparing our reality with the one we see on our feeds, aspiring to something that does not exist, because life is much more complicated than that. What if the next time you go to that fashionable restaurant, you don’t take a picture of your meal and focus on actually eating it? What if the next time you go to that amazing place, you don’t look for the perfect shot and just enjoy the landscape? In the end, what if we bring back the real us?