Social Media and the Myth of the Perfect Life Portrayal

Mean Girls- Don’t be one of ’em.

The other day I saw someone I really respect imply that some of her Facebook friends were trying to act like they had a perfect life when she knows otherwise. It’s a sentiment I’ve seen before, and it gets to me every time. After sitting with this for a few days, I think I figured out a couple reasons why.

  1. It’s judgy.

When I see my Facebook friends post their sappy love pictures, yummy meals, cute babies (human or fur), and fun nights with friends, it brings me joy. It makes me happy that they are seizing whatever sweetness life has to offer and sharing it with the world, or at least their Facebook friends. It never crosses my mind that they are trying to fake perfection, just highlight the happy moments they’ve been blessed with and hope that others can be happy for them, too. I want my Facebook friends to look at the happy moments I share and be happy for me, not secretly judge me.

2. It’s passive-aggressive and mean-spirited.

It’s understood that nobody’s life is perfect. We all have our share of difficulties to carry. I can’t imagine why anyone would feel the need to remind someone “I know your life is imperfect” because they are sharing the good times on social media. It reeks of malice, and makes me wonder about their intentions for me, too.

It seems some people will see the worst no matter what you post. If you do share hard times, some will say you’re oversharing. If you share only good times, you’re faking a perfect life. At the end of the day, I hope you feel comfortable enough to share whatever resonates with you.

 

I think it’s a myth that anyone is trying to convince us that they have a perfect life. If we choose to view it that way, that’s on us. I choose to be happy for my friends when they share joy, and empathize with them when they share sorrows. I choose to take social media as a snippet of real life as we glimpse into each other’s private worlds and just try to do our best to get by.

Photo: Flickr/BarbieFantasies

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