Over the years, I have written a number of articles that go into the affect that social media is having on the world, and one of the affects that came to my mind again recently was how easy it was for someone to deceive their so-called ‘friends’. This can take place by only uploading certain pictures and by editing the pictures that they do upload.
There is then going to be what is actually taking place in their life and then, there is going to be how they come across to others. And while there may be times when the difference is pretty insignificant; there could be times when it is similar to the difference between night and day.
A Cover Up
Only uploading certain pictures and heavily editing the pictures they do share is likely to be a way for them to not only create a certain image but to receive approval from their ‘friends’. They may believe that if they were to share pictures were they were doing normal things and where they didn’t look perfect, this wouldn’t happen.
Or it they did receive ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ from others, they wouldn’t receive the same amount. And, by being caught up in how they come across and their need for approval, they might not be aware of the impact that their behaviour is having on others.
There are likely to be people who see the life that they appear to be living and end up feeling down and even envious. This is not to say that someone should play small in life so that they don’t have negative effect on others; however, there is clearly a difference between living a fulfilling life and creating the impression that this is so.
Still, even if someone does live a fulfilling life, it doesn’t mean that they will do something exciting everyday or always take pictures where they look like a celebrity from an airbrushed photo shoot. Additionally, if someone is living a fulfilling life, they may be too busy living life to spend so much time managing their social media identity.
Interestingly, not only can other people buy into the illusion that they have created; they can also buy into the illusions that other people create. The people who view their profile can feel the need to create an even bigger illusion to keep up with them, and they can have the same need after they have seen the illusions that other people have created.
And the more time that someone spends trying to create the perfect life online, the less time they will have to create a fulfilling life offline. Their focus will be on pleasing others as opposed to pleasing themselves.
It is easy to fall into this social media trap and to lose sight of what truly matters in life, such as: connecting to others and making a difference. When someone creates the impression that they live the perfect life, they can create more space between them and others, and they can become totally consumed with themselves, making it harder for them to extend themselves to others.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.