A Socially Filtered Life

I am mentally exhausted.

It’s 6:30 and after writing three posts this week that really put my life out into the open, I have to admit that it’s exhausting.

This week I’ve written about leaving Cincinnati to move to NYC for a girl who ghosted me and for a job that turned out so much more difficult than I ever imagined.

I’ve written about meanness and the Internet, how you can’t escape it and how easy it is to follow and become mean.

And yesterday I wrote about a time where I wanted to kill myself. To end my existence on this earth and how important it is that we be genuine and real friends with each other.

All of these posts have something in common…

No one knew I was hurting at the time, only until I spoke about it years later.

Which brings me to today’s post. Filters.

The internet, social media, the perception we have of someone on Facebook is usually very filtered. It’s almost like everyone online is marketing themselves and trying to shine in the best light.

People do this with photos now. With Snapchat and Instagram and Facebook, the photos become so filtered that reality becomes distorted. Our blemishes, our zits, our imperfections are covered up and we become less real. We become more “perfect”.

Whatever “perfect” means.

We do this with our posts and reality too. We celebrate our victories but we don’t talk about our defeats. I remember I used to gamble a lot, and I’d post about winning money, or take photos of the $300 I won to celebrate. I never posted about the money I lost.

The problem with these filters is that we sometimes lose track that they exist. And we start comparing our real lives with peoples social media filtered lives. And we will always come up short when we compare real to filtered.

You see some stunning photo of a woman with the perfect smile, the perfect dimples, the perfect complexion and you start looking at yourself in the mirror. A line here, chapped lips, a spot on a tooth. You see yourself staring back and realize you can’t compete with that photo.

And it depresses you.

No one can compete with fake.

You follow a parent or a business person or someone in a happy relationship and see how good their life is. How “together” they are. How amazing they seem.

But they don’t post about the nights they were up stressing. The addictions they might have. The beatings their significant other gave them. They don’t post about the tears, the anguish, the hard work and sacrifices.

They post what they want you to know.

Don’t believe me? Remember that plenty of people have committed suicide, overdosed, hit rock bottom while seeming to be the happiest people in the world according to their social media presence.

Don’t let filtered lives affect your self esteem. We all struggle. We all have bad things happen. We all are doing our best to survive.

And you’re amazing.

Just remember to live life. And to really love living.

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