...is that what you see, isn't always what you get.
...is that what you see, are the highlights of my life.
...is that what you see, is what I CHOOSE to show you.
Yes, guys. That's the truth about social media. You may say, "Well yeah, I already knew about it. I knew everything that you mentioned above."
We may all KNOW it, in our heads. But very often, whenever we scroll our Instagram feeds and Facebook timelines, we tend to forget all of that and be subconsciously influenced to think that whatever we see is how that person really is, how things really are, in real life.
When we see a famous fashion blogger's post on Instagram, we go,
"OMG she's always travelling and wearing nice, sponsored clothes. What a life! I want to be fab like her too!"
But we don't know the work that goes into liaising with clothing sponsors, answering emails day and night, engaging photographers, photo editing, planning trips, sacrificing on sleep just to shoot in the morning sun, the need to ensure that makeup and hair looks on-point for shoot all-day-every-day even when you feel your worse, when holidays become work and you don't know how to different them anymore.
Was chatting with fellow blogger, Christabel aka BellyWellyJelly from Singapore during my stay in Taipei, and she shared her love for Pasar Malam (night markets) and how kids/teengagers these days don't go to Pasar Malam anymore, simply because it is deemed to be uncool. These days, they only want to hang out at hipster cafe joints because that's where every popular social media influencer seems to be hanging out these days.
Yes, these social media influencers may be hanging out at cafe joints a lot, but know that a lot of photos are #throwbacks, and that maybe when they visit a Pasar Malam, they didn't take a photo and therefore, no Instagram posts about it?
I do tons of seemingly uncool stuff everyday! Do the laundry, fetching the husband from work, eat mixed rice for lunch, dinner at a Hokkien Mee joint, watching series at night wearing my nerdy glasses and my hair in a bun, etc. But just because I don't Instagram them, it seems like I don't do them in my life, ever.
When we see a cute, loving couple's post on Instagram, we go,
"Awwww they're so, so sweet! How I wish my relationship is like that too. #relationshipgoals"
But we don't know about the times when they disagree, quarrel and fight. Times when they hurt each other with words and did things they regretted. Times when they have cold wars and don't communicate for days. Times when their relationship goes through a rocky, rough patch and they're at the brink of a breakup.
We don't know, because they don't show.
But it's not their fault either. They don't show because there simply isn't a need to show it.
Once, I was chatting with an acquaintance and she popped the usual question, "So how's married life?", to which I answered, "Yea married life is great. I'm really enjoying it. But of course we do have our ups and downs."
She said, "Oh really? You guys quarrel too? But you both look so sweet on Instagram!"
That made me realise more than ever that Instagram, Facebook and social media in general is screwing up minds, big time.
I'm not one who would post up sappy, pity-party statuses on Facebook when Boon and I are going through trying times in our relationship. We have both agreed that no matter what happens, no matter how bad our fights are, we should never bring it online.
This is not because we're afraid to show the weak/negative sides, but it's about protecting the privacy of our relationship, the dignity of each other, and about respecting your other half. It is not that we don't have our share of disagreements and down times. We do. It's just that we CHOOSE not to show.
There are only 24 hours a day, 16-18 hours that we're awake and online, and probably only 3-4 posts (maximum) a day that people post on Instagram. In those few 3-4 posts, anyone would choose to post the best, nicest-looking highlights of their day. No one would pick a bad or boring photo, what more else bad moments like fights, quarrels and tears? It's just normal that we want to remember our best moments. And since Instagram acts mostly as a photo diary to many, people post their BEST HIGHLIGHTS of the day. It's only normal.
So it's not their fault. Then whose fault is it?
Frankly, no one is to be blamed for our screwed up mindset about life in social media. Should we be blaming the society? Society who? We are part of that society, so who's to blame?
No one should be blamed, but ourselves. The next time you see a photo on Instagram that makes you green with envy and makes you hate your life, remember...
...what you see, isn't always what you get.
...what you see, are the highlights of their lives.
...what you see, is what they CHOOSE to show you.
Let the fabulous fashion posts and lovey-dovey couple posts on Instagram be inspirations to us, and not bring us down and look at our lives negatively.
Let's love our lives and be contented at what we already have, and love ourselves for who we are.