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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Truth About Social Media

...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.

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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.

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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.




love, Careen.
This post is filed under Love & RelationshipsPersonalMarriage, Thoughts.


25 comments:

  1. I think girls with fashion is inspiring and not a negative thing. =)

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    Replies
    1. Yeap, I agree! It's surely not a negative thing. But it's the misconception of how life ought to be- always picture perfect and fabulous that is a dangerous thing. Which is why we ourselves as viewers of such posts gotta wire our own thinking and not be easily swayed into thinking that what we see is exactly how it is in real life :)

      Thanks for your comment, Wilson!

      Delete
  2. I agree with you totally! Thank you for this wonderful post! :D

    xoxo, Janice
    http://janiceyeap.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. You're most welcome, Janice! Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  3. Crap.After generate enough incomes from living on advertiser's expenses,now these bloggers wanted to talk about privacy.Nobody bothers bout your pathetic happy life.Most male readers would just love to see you being single and come after you.So please stop pretend and come clean bout your life.T hats the truth bout social media.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      First of all, thank you for making the effort to comment :) I think you've totally misunderstood the purpose of my post. I'm not sure what bad experiences you had with bloggers that caused such a negative perception, but I do hope you know that not all bloggers are the same and therefore, there shouldn't be a need to generalise and stereotype.

      You asked me to stop pretending and to come clean about my life. If you've been following me on my blog and social media, you'd know that I'm pretty much an open book and have nothing much to hide about in my life. So, what is it that you'd like for me to come clean about? Do enlighten me :)

      Thanks.

      Delete
  4. This post is rather insightful and i really feel like i needed someone to say this out right. Many girls do this, knowingly or unknowingly, idolizing the great fashion and pictures posted by their "idols". In reality, of course, these idols are no different from the other girls in terms of life-- just the amount put in to produce the pictures.

    I believe when some girls say these comments, some of them mean, (or at least i do), if i do put in as much effort to look good in all the pictures, will i receive the same amount of recognition and popularity?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maple!

      I guess recognition and popularity isn't 100% guaranteed when one puts in lots of hard work into posting good content on social media. There are many, many people with amazing content on social media, showcasing their outfits, photography skills, artwork, music, but only a few get lucky and noticed. There's no sure recipe for success and fame, anyone's big break could be any moment. So just keep churning out good content for your own passion and pleasure, and not expecting a big break to come because if we do, we might end up feeling disappointed and burned out time and again. So just do it for the passion and fun! It's more meaningful that way :)

      Delete
  5. Very well said! You're incredible. Keep writing :D

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    1. Thanks babe! Appreciate your encouragement :)

      Delete
  6. Couldn't agree more with you, Careen! :) I believe everyone has hard times yet we try to show the best to people, and that takes loads of efforts. Someday, someone will appreciate the story behind every social media - worthy picture....

    xoxo,
    FiSh <3

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    Replies
    1. Hi Fish! Yeap it's all about seeing things with a different perspective :) Thanks for your comment babe!

      Delete
  7. I've seen quite a few public faces talk about this lately, but the part that really hit me was "The next time you see a photo on Instagram that makes you green with envy and makes you hate your life, remember..." because that's exactly how I've been feeling lately. Thank you for being so open. Although I know that their lives cant be so perfect, it was nice to hear it from the horse's mouth so to speak. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dorothy,

      Thank you for taking time to make a comment. This is precisely the reason why I decided to blog about it cos though I'm a social media influencer myself, I still feel that sometimes. So what more else non-bloggers/social media influencers? We're all ordinary people who try our best to churn out good quality content on social media. And that is all :)

      Thanks for reading babe!

      Delete
  8. Hello Careen!! This is indeed an insightful blog post, every instagramer should read this. I have been a reader of your blog and instagram for few years. I always enjoy reading your blog and instragram post. Love the way you spread the positive vibes to everyone around you and being truthful, which is very inspiring. Being one of the renowned social media influencers, you are still very humble and sincere to your readers and followers as well as the customers of your business (Chiqfliq), make an effort to reply to our comments on both your blog and instrgram. How many famous bloggers are still doing that? Thank you for being such an awesome social media influencers =D

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    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for the encouragement! Truly appreciate you making an effort to comment here, and for all the kind words spoken. Readers like you keep my blogging passion alive. Thank you for reading :)

      Delete
  9. you don't go to pasar malam's anymore? Gurll.. you need to calm the fuck down. Where the hell you think you gonna get your ba'changs taufufah and pu re sugar cane? Starbucks?

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    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      Surely not Starbucks! I'm not sure which part of the blog post stated that I don't go to pasar malam's anymore. Think you might have misunderstood my post. Anyways, thank you for making an effort to comment :)

      Delete
  10. This would be an excellent answer on Quora

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  11. yes I agree! . I like to hang out at food court example like Asia Cafe Subang, Uptown, Rasta etc.It used to be happening place to lepak. What happen to them???? Even Mapley (mamak) not happening so much nowadays . They said " tak cool lah..so low class" * krik krik krik krik* What happen??? I miss Hartamas 7 years ago.

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  12. I completely agree with your post!

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