Social Media is Not Real


I was disturbed when I read this article, about a women whose life looked perfect from the outside and social media but she killed herself. In the article Beth Landam writes, “Increasingly, most of us are living two lives: one online, one off. And studies show that this makes us more vulnerable to depression, loneliness and low self-worth.”

Proposals, weddings, events, crafts, kid outfits all need to be Pinterest and share-worthy. The article tells of a women who has part of her apartment clean and well-decorated so she can take the pictures there, while the rest of the house is a mess.

I think this is why I rarely post pictures of beautiful organizing solutions I have done that would be perfect for Pinterest. One – because I am not very crafty and my DIY isn’t all that gorgeous. Two –  because I don’t want to perpetuate the perfectionistic ideal.

You can have a functional file system that isn’t amazing to look at or photograph a cake that lost part of its frosting. I like beauty and design, but is it worth it to over-design everything in your life? Most of us don’t have that amount of time.

As you go throughout your week, notice when you are trying to make something look better than it is for the approval of social media friends. You are enough – burnt cookies and all. (Or maybe I am the only one who burns things?)




  • Thank you for the link – it is very disturbing indeed!

    And no, you’re not the only burnt cookie maker out there. I do the same too!

  • matty says:

    I giggled over the cookies… I am always amazed how bloggers become rock star famous for writing about their apparently perfect life.. which becomes so incredibly obvious when one looks beyond the darling children, stylish house, and expensive clothes they endorse… I have recently realized I waste a lot of time even looking at these…. on with life! 🙂

  • elizabeth says:

    OK, so I checked your citation, as the librarian that I am. The NY Post is not a reputable newspaper, but a tabloid. Their reporting is shallow, misleading, gossip-focused, and alarmist.

    Humans have used social tools for thousands of years. Back in the day, Greek playwrights made fun of people they didn’t like. The festival of Greek tragedy was more or less the ancient equivalent of a modern church Christmas pageant, if you imagine there were a couple of teams who competed to win a prize. Back then, businessmen boasted about supporting their team with expensive costumes, great choreographers, and fab sets. You could also draw some unpleasant parallels to Toddlers and Tiaras, that worst of the worst reality TV dreck–just like today, some people bankrupted themselves buying fancy outfits for the big event.

    In Victorian times, the Royal Mail in London made multiple deliveries to houses each day–so the letters could whisk from house to house, as people talked about important topics. Like whose dress was out of style, whose carriage cost more, who was dating the richest guy, and who was NOT included in the dance party invite.

    When phones showed up, so did prank calls to the class ‘loser’. But, you know, it’s not like telephones themselves invented school bullies, as anyone who has read Farmer Boy knows.

    The problem isn’t Instagram, or Facebook, or blogging, or twitter, or cell phones, or ‘unrealistic lifestyles’. The assigned-in-every-English-class-ever short story The Necklace tells us about that.

    The problem is that humanity does not play well with others. Each new social tool will be used for both social good (to keep connections for those separated at great physical distance, to fund a young girl’s dream, to meet like minded freinds) and social harm (bullying, shame, gambling, adultery).

    Banning Facebook ain’t gonna change the fact that teenage girls? LOVE LOVE LOVE to not include everybody on the party invite.

    If you want to dampen the effect of that social snub, it is far more effective to STRENGTHEN other social bonds–using whatever social tools happen to be available, be they meatspace or virtual.

  • Beth Dargis says:

    Hi Elizabeth (I like that name, it’s mine as well). I certainly wasn’t advocating banning Facebook and social media. My two action steps were to remember that what people post is not a total realistic portrayal of their lives. And to notice when you post to make yourself look better in other’s eyes. I love social media and connecting with people on and off the computer.

  • Mary says:

    Elizabeth – Most media outlets could be considered tabloids today. They seem to discuss opinions more than factual news. That aside, regardless of whether the story is factual, it does represent what it happening in the world since social media. The anonymity allows people to say to someone, or be someone, that would not be how they would represent themselves face to face. There are also bullying, and its true that people have committed suicide over social media.

    Unfortunately, there is a demographic of people that believe everything they read or see on the internet, and some of it is hateful and cause harm to another person. I think its important to remember to take things we see and read with a grain of salt, until we take the time to verify the information. Also, if someone is in appropriate to another person, it is very easy to block that person. True friends won’t hurt each other, but too many are interacting with complete strangers on a personal level, and that can be scary.

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