If I say the word 'real' what do you think of? What do you associate with being real and reality? Here's a reality check, nothing is real these days. So, is being 'fake' about shielding others from the real you, or is it more the complete opposite? Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook work on the basis of perception. You only post certain images to your accounts and they go through rigorous checks before posting - am I right, right or right? How many people here have actually posted a 'no make-up selfie' to Instagram with no make-up on? If you're like me and you really have posted a real one, how many filters did you use, how many apps did it go through and would you ever have considered doing so when your skin wasn't at its best? I think I can answer that for you, no, absolutely not! Truth is, I won't Snapchat anything before reapplying some lipstick and checking my hair. Does that mean I'm fake, though? The simple answer would be yes. But I'm not 100% sure that it's all as cut and dry as we'd like to think.
Ask me the question and I would reply that I wouldn't consider myself a fake person. Why? Because I take real selfies sometimes? No, I don't think that real vs fake really revolves around any social media. You see, the social media platforms themselves are fake but using them doesn't make me fake. Do I take pictures of myself crying on my bedroom floor and post them to Insta? No, that would be mad but strangely enough, it's not exactly that I wouldn't want other people to see it, I just don't want to admit that sometimes I am only human. I don't really want the whole of Instagram or Snapchat to know every single detail of my life. Because, and here's the real crux, they actually aren't that interested. It's like when someone says 'Hi, how are you' and if you told them how you really felt, they'd run a mile because they aren't actually interested, they were just being polite. Nobody wants to ride the bus with you when the limo breaks down, right?*
People go onto social media not only to see what other people are up to, but also to get away from reality. Social media is hardly a reality check, it's the opposite, it's sort of a haven where a generation which struggles most with depression and all that goes along with it can take refuge and showcase the good parts of their lives. Its also a breeding ground for comparison and thus anxiety etc (but that's for another day).
Remember those jars where you would write down something good that had happened that day and you would do it religiously every day? Then when you were unhappy, you could re-read all the good things as a reminder of how great life really is? Well, I think that's what social media is for all intents and purposes. It is a jar where we keep our proudest, greatest and happiest moments to look at and share not only with everyone else but ourselves...because life can be quite gloomy.
*Oprah quote (indirect)
Oh and thanks to Arye Kellman for being the inspiration for this post (well your show anyway)