In our society of Instagram influencers and YouTube sensations, the lengths people go to to appear authentic on screen is huge. Relatable content drives these creators to share every aspect of their lives from the exciting to the mundane, and includes the successes and the deepest lows they experience all craftily edited with filters on filters on filters.
Despite this we still tend to assume that social media is merely a highlight real rather than a true picture of a person. Tell that to my Facebook feed that yes, I do still check because I’m not as cool as people think I am.
By nature, I am an oversharer. Just ask any of my work friends who began merely as innocent coworkers trying to do their jobs in peace and quiet. I have shared many a personal detail when it wasn’t asked for or invited whether it is good, bad, or otherwise. Quite honestly I don’t see this changing. A fact I am perfectly OK with.
Except when it comes to social media.
Look, I’ll give you the good, the great, the otherwise (which is usually the weird), but you don’t get to have the bad. And frankly, I am a little tired of seeing everyone else’s low points.
I’m not sure if it’s the aforementioned influencer culture or a sense of comfortability we have collectively achieved after being exposed to the joys of the internet since we were youths, but lately it seems that everyone and their mother is spilling every gory detail of their existence out into the social media universe. Complete with emojis and hashtags for their 54 followers to see.
Don’t get me wrong, I love drama and gossip. *she writes during hour 4 of a Love Island: Australia binge* But something about seeing my friends and acquaintances long statuses about losing a job, being cheated on by someone who was last week labeled “The One”, or family disagreements/dirty laundry aired out on the TL causes what I know is the opposite intention and has me rolling my eyes at the audacity. Especially when that news is delivered in multiple paragraph form.
I get it, I do. Everyone goes through not great times in their lives and they want to keep people in the loop in the easiest way possible: through the tiny screen that is attached to their hand. But am I crazy to think that maybe not every person you have met throughout years of your life in various ways (school, work, drunk at the bar, family members you see once a year, internet friends) needs to have access to all of that?
Typically the important people know what’s going on with me because they are important enough that I have gone out of my way to tell them. I don’t feel the need to be more “authentic” online and prove that I am a real person by spewing about xyz problems with more details than necessary. (Unless I’m making a self-deprecating joke that clearly doesn’t give all the real info.) I’ll leave that to the influencers who make a living looking perfect and need to prove to us otherwise.
Perhaps when I become famous someday, I too will decide to share beyond the highlight reel in an effort to be relatable. But until then let’s just save the bad shit for your inner circle and keep your diary off the timeline.