The Perils of Social Media and False Reality

A mobile phone with instagram on the screen

Written by Charlotte (Charlie) Howard


November 12, 2023

Ah, the social media trap – where we find ourselves lost in the digital wilderness, surrounded by an endless parade of perfect lives and impeccable Insta-worthy moments. It’s like a never-ending slideshow of friends’ beach vacations and strangers living in homes that look straight out of a magazine, complete with the prerequisite infinity pool and maybe a pet tiger.

But let’s get real for a moment. What we see on social media is often about as genuine as a spray-on tan in a rainstorm. It’s a carefully crafted illusion, a curated collection of life’s greatest hits. You know that friend who always seems to be living their best life, with a family straight out of a sitcom and a constant stream of joyous moments? Well, here’s a thought: If their life is so darn amazing, shouldn’t they be too busy actually enjoying it to share every minuscule detail with the world?

I mean, we’ve all seen it – the relentless flood of holiday pics, the incessant tweeting, the Snapchat stories that rival the length of a Shakespearean play. But does this oversharing scream “I love my life” or “I desperately need validation from the virtual masses”? It’s a fine line, my friend.

Take those vacation photos, for example. You’ve got people meticulously documenting every meal, every laugh, every sunset – all while potentially missing out on the actual experience of enjoying said meal, laugh, or sunset. It’s like they’ve got a personal paparazzi documenting their every move. Are they really savoring the gelato on the streets of Rome, or is it just a performance for the digital audience? It’s a modern-day existential crisis: to selfie or not to selfie?

And let’s talk about those constant grins for the camera. Are they genuinely having the time of their lives, or is it a well-rehearsed act for the ‘Gram? I can’t help but wonder if behind that smiling facade lies a person silently screaming, “Can we please put the camera down and just enjoy this moment like normal humans?”

It’s almost as if we’ve become actors in our own lives, playing out scenes for the ever-watchful eyes of the online masses. But is this constant need for validation and attention a sign of true happiness, or is it a symptom of a society stuck in the loop of a digital popularity contest?

So, the next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through someone’s meticulously curated social media feed, remember this: Life is messy, unpredictable, and rarely fits into a perfectly square Instagram post. Maybe it’s time to embrace the chaos, put the phone down, and start living for the unfiltered, unscripted moments. After all, the real magic happens when the camera is off, the phone is down, and we’re living in the moment – imperfections and all.


Riverside Therapy

Published : Nov 12, 2023