Our personas are so controlled on social media, we can truly present the best, most glamorous, funniest side of ourselves. Is it wrong? Does it matter?
I recently met someone who I had only seen on social media. On a normal day, without the perfectly coiffed hair and precision applied make-up, and the flattering angle, she was unrecognisable. This was a face she wasn’t happy to show the world. And I thought that was a bit of a shame. There was nothing wrong with her, but she was striving for perfection on a timeline that doesn’t exist in reality.
It’s great that we can be the person we want to be, to present an image that we’re happy with, but is it a bit wrong to airbrush the bad parts out? We can’t do that in real life, no matter how hard we try.
I will always be the person who says the wrong thing, who speaks too soon. On social media I have to think to type, so I usually don’t make that mistake, so do I come across better on a screen than I do in real life? Well, I can’t really answer that, but it’s an interesting thought.
It’s easy to be nice online. You don’t have to fake body language or tone of voice, or in my case my face (my face makes expressions without my consent regularly, my mouth can tell lies, but my face can’t), you can think about something before responding; it doesn’t have to be immediate.
Can we get bogged down with finding ‘nice’ people online, and then be disappointed with the people in our real life? It is too easy to skip over the bad bits. But equally well, what you put online stays there forever, maybe you don’t want your legacy to be too accurate.
Whatever is the right, or best way of doing it, I don’t know, but social media is now part of our day-to-day lives, and the person we portray will inevitably come to be the person that people will expect, or alternatively, mock, for falling far short of the reality.
You can omit the truth. You can always add a filter. You can manipulate the reflection of your life as you please.
It your choice.
And I suppose that ultimately, it will be those choices that reflect the true nature of the person that you are.
Thank God I don’t have to date online.
Thank God other people don’t have to date ME online.