Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok have become a dominating force of modern times. These platforms are a large part of almost every culture, playing a huge role in the everyday lives of people across the world and right nextdoor.
These platforms have also changed society as we know it. Popular social media channels have opened a new way of expression by allowing any contemporary person to connect to the world and express and share themselves in whatever manner they choose.
These platforms are a great way for anyone to share their world with those who choose to listen (at the account owner’s discretion), but oftentimes the lives shared on social media are painted with rose-colored glasses.
Social media can be a positive or negative platform to connect with others. Unfortunately, most social media profiles contain some level of filtering as well as can be addicting for the brain.
The lack of authenticity and other toxic social media behaviors has created a stressful experience for many social media users. Furthermore, social media addiction can create an alternate reality that many people go to to avoid real life.
Here are seven methods of faking it on social media and how they can be toxic to a person's health.
In This Article:
- The Comparison Game
- Reality Sometimes Isn't Real
- Fake Relationships Become Important
- Too Much Wasted Time
- Poor Body Image
- Comparing Likes, Comments, Shares, And Views
- Less Real Human Interaction
- Wrapping It Up
The Comparison Game
Think about this: There are 1000’s of Apps and websites designed to edit and alter anyone’s images and photos.
Also something to consider: People tend to only post the positive aspects of their life on social media and hide the negative aspects. Even worse, they may overexaggerate to make their lives appear near perfect.
Some social media users have been caught triple filtering their photos, photoshopping themselves into hot vacation spots, and buying followers to make their life and even their own self-image into what they view as “perfect.” There are numerous websites that offer (fake) followers for a price. For example, CheapIGFollowers currently guarantee 10,000 "real" Instagram followers for just under $140.
Sadly, this behavior is common and understandable because social media sometimes can be more about comparison and less about communication.
|Key Takeaway: If you are faking it on social media, please remember that someone could be faking it even harder. It’s easy to compare your life to someone else’s on social media without considering that they might be only sharing the good things, don’t have any actual real friends, or that even what they share isn’t 100% real. |
Reality Sometimes Isn't Real
If people only share the best moments of their life (or even go as far as to lie) on social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always wanting to live in an alternate reality that social media has to offer.
Unfortunately in life, everyone goes through hard times. There isn’t a soul in the world that always looks put together or who is always content.
Social media can offer short-term happiness and a fictitious sense of happiness that never lasts thanks to our endorphins. Those who live in the fake perfection of their social media pages sometimes get so caught up in their profiles and the profiles of others that their real-life may grow unbearable.
Fake Relationships Become Important
Almost everyone has at least one friend who has to post everything and spend half of their social time trying to take the perfect picture.
Unfortunately, the type of person who is always living for creating their best image won’t value real friendships as much as fake friendships and will care more about what people think about them online and what kind of virtual image their friend creates. A person who is addicted to creating the perfect profile on social media may even get upset at friends who don’t want to constantly take pictures or go places only because of the great photo opportunities. They might even base their friendships on who helps them create the best virtual image of themselves.
Too Much Wasted Time
Social media is addictive. A recent study found that, on average, adults spend 144 minutes A DAY on social media.
Typically when someone uses social media, their brain sends dopamine, and they experience this moment-to-moment happiness. As soon as one exits social media, this dopamine disappears, and real-life sets in. There is no long-term happiness that is received from using social media.
Time is precious and few. Life goes by in the blink of an eye, and if someone already has other responsibilities on their plate, focusing on creating a fake virtual perfection will add stress to their life.
Poor Body Image
The pressure to post the perfect picture can create constant scrutiny of our God-given bodies.
Social media has a way of making people feel bad about the skin that they are in. The act of editing a picture to remove what society deems as imperfections cause a desire to have the face and body created by editing tools.
|Quick Statistic: One small study found that social media plays a major role in a portion of its user's body image, body ideals, and even eating disorders. |
Skin isn’t naturally flawless. Normal bodies look different from a fitness model’s body (and even fitness models edit their photos). Yearning to naturally have the image of perfection isn’t realistic or healthy. It isn’t very reassuring to try to achieve the unreal image we learn to construct through filters and editing apps.
Comparing Likes, Comments, Shares, And Views
Likes, comments, shares, and views have become especially important to the ego of many in the digital age.
I recently had a friend come over and tell me how she shared a natural picture of herself, and it got a bunch of likes, but not as many as the filtered picture that she took using Snapchat. She admitted that she liked the filtered picture of her more because it got more attention.
Most people feel like they HAVE to filter their photos to feel accepted in the social media world.
Less Real Human Interaction
Have you ever seen a group of friends meet up together and then spend most of their time on their phones?
The more someone uses social media, the less real human interaction is actually valued. It’s easy for someone to shelter themselves within their own personal space or even right next to their friends and family and shut out the world when there are so many forms of technology to use to communicate through a screen.
Using social media and other forms of technology can be a positive way to communicate when someone is far away or is immobile. Still, oftentimes people use technology as a crutch when they become too comfortable in their own bubble.
Furthermore, social media makes it easy for conversations to be misinterpreted and cyberbullying to occur. Unfortunately, this new way of communicating only through technology is causing people to lose their communication skills. It also becomes easier to forget about someone’s personhood when you talk to them through a screen. Online or phone customer service representatives can get treated as if they aren’t human because their customers don’t see their faces.
Wrapping It Up
Social media can be a healthy way to express someone’s individuality and share it with loved ones. However, because social media CAN become addicting (and impersonal), many problems can arise from its use. Take care to make sure that you and your loved ones are using social media responsibly.