Social media. A big part of our lives for most. Many times it has been discussed that social media creates a ‘fake’ representation of our lives, but I don’t think this is entirely true. I am mainly speaking for Instagram as that is the main platform that I use and am familiar with. The argument about social media being fake is that we are filtering our lives through these platforms to only show the best moments or to make our lives seem perfect. This can then lead to lowered self esteem in some of the people who consume these posts because they don’t deem their lives to be as perfect and think that something is wrong with them.
However, perhaps people just need to change the way they view these things. Maybe the argument shouldn’t be that there is a fault in the posts, but in rather, the receivers of said posts. If I were to view my personal Instagram page from the perspective of a consumer, I might consider it to be pretty ‘fake’ or a false representation of my life. For example, almost all of my photos are taken outside, so it might seem like I spend a lot more of my life outside than I actually do.
The thing is, my goal is not to make my life seem perfect. My goal for my Instagram is to create a digital scrapbook. Or simply to create. My goal is to create and share my creations and discoveries. My goal is to share stories through art, writing and creative photos, or to share cool things or places I’ve found and things I want to remember. Basically, a scrapbook of my favourite moments presented in a fun and creative way that also allows other people to come on the journey with me. The entire world doesn’t need to know about my personal life. Everyone has bad days, everyone has nothing days, that’s perfectly normal. But those are not moments or days that I wish to remember or that I deem to be important. My social media is as much for me to look back on as it is for me to share my creations. The only people really who need to know about my personal life are my close friends and family, people who I actually converse with in real life on a fairly regular basis.
So perhaps we need to stop looking at social media as representations of someone’s life. Perhaps we need to broaden our views. I’m not saying that everyone uses Instagram in the exact same way as I do, but perhaps we just shouldn’t assume that everyone uses it in the same way or for the same purpose. I believe social media is more of a representation of someone as a person, rather than of their life. The places they like, the activities they enjoy, the things they want to remember. The stories they have to tell. While social media can be selective in the parts of life that is shared, it isn’t necessarily ‘fake’ in every circumstance. And again, it isn’t always selective for the reasons talked about.
Social media isn’t my life. Social media is a scrapbook of me.
If you’re curious, these are my Instagram accounts:
General scrapbook: @laurenkathleen_