I am a slightly awkward, self-conscious, struggling twenty year old who has a slight drinking problem. But online, no one can see that. The way social media is designed allows me to hide my struggles and only present a facade of my actual life. For example, I make a concerted effort to not present myself as being negative or in a bad place. Along with hiding parts of my identity from the world, I forge a desire to constantly impress my “friends” and “followers” by updating posts of interest and uniqueness online. In real life, I honestly don’t give a single damn what they think of me- I rarely think about the things I say out loud -but online, my actions are more thought out and constructed.
An article on phys.org expands on the topic while focusing on Twitter, stating that people’s online personas don’t usually reflect their character in real life, whether it’s someone being over studious or overly chatty.
“The persona online may be much more fabulous, much more exciting than the everyday life that they’re leading,” said Julie Albright, a digital sociologist at University of Southern California, “because they see everybody else doing it.”
Twitter, in many ways, has become a personal broadcast medium.
“It has turned people into mini-broadcasters,” said Albright. “It makes them, in a way, stars of their own reality shows.
So what does this mean for you and me? The understanding that some of us fabricate our activities online for self and social justification. Although this reality may appear grim, there is a sense of betterment many of us put in our social media posts. We gulp down the feelings of sadness and anxiety and post a family photograph so grandma can like it more than just on Facebook.
Follow me on instagram!