“Social networks suck!”. Or so, everyone claims, except me.
Well, at least for the time being. When my kids want to become heavy users of social media, I’ll officially ban it from my house.
Until then, I’ll continue to enjoy checking my social media accounts. It’s a fun thing to do.
To start with, I have moved locations often and social networks have done a great job helping me keep close with my friends.
I also happen to have very discrete friends who barely share any pictures of themselves on their social networks, and the few of them who do choose the types of pictures that I look forward to seeing: themselves, their travels, their kids, the family gatherings or whatever else truly means a lot to them. Many of my friends also like to share funny memes (I like to have friends that make me laugh) or interesting articles to read (that’s how I get to know what’s happening around the globe).
So, all of these benefits put together help me look forward to checking my social media networks. The overall experience is very enjoyable to me.
However, it’s important to pinpoint phoniness in social media. Before blogging, I worked in marketing and advertising. We used to take stock images for our internal libraries. I’ve seen how these images were discussed, created and edited. I’ve also seen how the props, the models and the locations were selected, and how the final pictures were chosen, by selecting only the best of the best.
Those pictures, the best of the best, are the ones that you find in the magazines, on the billboards, and everywhere else you look. Each time I passed by one of them, I knew how much work was put into them, I recognized the fake laughs, I heard the photographer’s direction as if I were part of the photo shoot, and I knew there was nothing about these fictional images that I wanted to assimilate with.
This makes me think of the awesome campaign, Real Beauty, created over a decade ago by Dove. If you’ve never had the chance to see how stock images are created, then click here to view the video.
I promise it’ll make you reevaluate the entire beauty industry.
Similar topic: The reason that I started my blog
When I started blogging, I wanted to share stories about motherhood, with its ups and downs. My blog was about sharing stories through words. I saw myself as a storyteller.
It was all fun until I realized how some users had raised the bar when it comes to happiness in parenting. Pictures of happy moms with perfectly-polished nails, silky hair, designer bags, living in fabulous houses, holding adorable little angels who smiled in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE, were flooding the Internet.
Those pictures were way more destructive than the stock images you find in advertising campaigns, simply because they were coming from the “girl next door”.
And I guess everyone began thinking: “If she could have such a perfect life all day, every day, what am I doing wrong?”.
Well, guess what? Those pictures are no different from stock images. They’re just taken by a different group of people.
Therefore, the only wrong thing that YOU’RE doing is believing that those images are real.
Because they’re not.
Those perfect moms have the same struggles as you have. Their kids cry, they get sick, they hate smiling at the cameras, they throw their food on the floor, they vomit on mom, and they’ve surely had tantrums.
The difference is that those moms don’t show those struggles to you.
They might have shown you their nails after they’ve been to the salon. Good job! But, have they ever shown you how their nails looked beforeheading to the salon? I bet not.
I don’t know about you, but even if the perfect world they’ve portrayed was real, I wouldn’t want to live in it. I mean, where is the love, the humor, and the fun in all of this?
Similar topic: Why taking a sabbatical year was the best decision for me
This perfect world seems too robotic to me.
I was once fooled by it, a long, long time ago, way before having kids. The perfect pictures of nurseries, the cute laughing babies, the smiling pregnant moms with silky hair all got me believing that parenting was an easy boat to sail. The wake-up call was terrible.
So, the next time you scroll by your feeds on social networks, and you get resentful of what you see, this is what you need to do: stop following the person who is causing you all this anxiety. Believe me, there are plenty of other people out there who can make you feel better about yourself.
You just need to look in a different direction.