THE BLOG

Social Media Is A Highlight Reel - Not 'Real Life'

17/01/2017 14:32 GMT | Updated 17/01/2017 14:32 GMT

I've spent the past ten years eating, sleeping, breathing (and working) within social media, but it's gotten to the point where even I am struggling to find the line between what's genuine and what isn't.

I admit it, only the highlights of my day-to-day life have the privilege of gracing my Facebook page. With the constant fear of over-sharing my private life and boring my friends by vaguebooking plaguing my mind, I realised that I'm a culprit, too.

Social media has turned into a popularity contest where people brag about their best bits with the only prize being the most-liked photo or the most-retweeted tweet.

There is a belief that share counts can quantify how exciting your life is which forces young people to think that their peers are more popular, more interesting or more attractive than them, and that they need to constantly be in competition to get their lives as good as everyone else's.

A study found that almost a quarter of things you see on social media are either faked or exaggerated.

However, 'faking it' can have consequences on your health with issues such as poor mental health and low self-esteem are increasing as a result.

Essenna O'Neill, 18-year old Instagram star, claimed that the constant pressure of being liked on social media was making her life miserable.

Her self-styled "addiction to be liked by others" lead to her thinking that her online life was her real identity, and that the number of engagements she got on her posts correlated to how many people liked her.

A survey from 2015 found that women spend a massive 16 minutes on perfecting every selfie, totalling over five hours a week.

There's no right or wrong way to use social media. It could be a way to keep in touch with friends, a way to document your photographs or just something you leave dormant but keep signed in because all your friends are on it. Just remember that what you see on your feed is only part of the full picture.

There's always a real, human-being behind whatever account that you're following, who is likely to do the same mundane daily tasks as you.

They still take out the bins in the morning, swear like a trooper when somebody cuts in their driving lane and even go a few hours before noticing that they've had food stuck their teeth.

Just because it's not shared on social media, it doesn't mean that it's not normal.