“Today on Facebook I saw how great my friends are doing- all their beautiful, clever, and authentically touching posts, and I felt so peaceful and happy.”
Said no one ever.
No one goes on social media and feels better. In fact, anyone prone to depression, anxiety or addiction will find that social media makes all that worse.
There is no peace on Facebook. And there never will be no matter how many spiritual quotes show up in an attempt to make the posters appear wise and evolved, or how many funny memes make us LOL.
“Show” and “Appear” are the operative words. Because social media is all about what things look like, not what they are.
It looks like those are real people, but actually social media is entirely words and images- there are no real people on pixels.
It looks like people are having great experiences, or lovely transformative peace. Never mind that the experiences can’t be all that satisfying, since right in the middle of them, posters feel the urgent need to leap up and start typing, trying to get others to coo over the presentation.
It looks like folks are being honest, authentic and “true to themselves.” (such a funny expression, whatever it even means.) Even though they block anyone who criticizes or doesn’t buy the story they are presenting.
It looks like people don’t care about approval, while zealously keeping tabs on numbers of Likes.
Social media is about stories of living, stories of people, stories of experience, not actuallife, people, experience. It’s reports and descriptions, not living.
Social media is the unreal pretending to be real, 24/7.
Not that this kind of pretending is new. Presenting a false self as if it was real is what humans have been doing for thousands of years. Social media just exaggerates that lie and makes it easier, so that now there is no let-up of the self-lie. There's no time off. Now we can polish our self-image, rate it, compare it and defend it… All. Day. Long.
Surely that's just what humankind needs… new ways to pretend we are what we aren’t, and more ammunition for self evaluation, self consciousness, self promotion, self hate, and self criticism.
That’ll make anyone happy and peaceful, right? Yay!
Now of course The Mind-Tickler is not saying anyone should leave social media. It’s just that in any form, on any platform, pretending to be a self hurts.
So if life seems especially difficult or painful, it might make sense to not overlook the slow-torture drip-drip-drip of self-making going on on social media. And to give the Looks Likes a chance to relax for a bit.
Who knows, it might even be nice to actually be content and peaceful rather than just appearing so.
Y’know, just for fun, and the possibility of... actual experience.