The Online “Life”

In real life, the only time I’ve ever been to L.A. was when I got the chance with the marching band to play tuba in the Rose Parade. Online I live in Malibu. I posed for Calvin Klein; I’ve been in GQ. I’m single and rich. And I got a set of six pack abs that will blow your mind. ~ “Online,” Brad Paisley

Feeling the need to share a picture of your breakfast at the local diner on a Saturday morning maybe boosts interest and business for that restaurant if you’re a famous food critic (Hey, Foodgod), but for the mainstream public, we don’t care what you had for breakfast. However, this oversharing of one’s details of their day-to-day lives isn’t the intent of this post. That’s a personal preference and I won’t judge. The intent of this post is rather the “life” one custom designs for themselves using their various social media accounts.

It’s no surprise we live in a world where everyone (well, mostly everyone) shares the details and moments of their lives on social media platforms. And it’s not surprising that these details and moments are not the truth but rather the bits and pieces of their lives they cherry pick to share and many times create just to share. Not because they believe in intimacy or privacy of the other details and moments but because these are the ones, they believe will gain them the most attention and approval from others. You know, all those followers and “friends” they have. They crave their likes and comments.

You know the type of people I am referring to. Those that post solely for the purposes of showing how “good” they have it. They post how great their relationship is not because they are truly happy in the life they are living but instead to lead all their followers and “friends” to believe they are. They want to portray they live the life they believe others desire to live so they post a photo of the entire family smiling in a loving embrace complete with matching outfits. When, reality is the photo was staged for social media purposes only and they are really going through it. And we all know those that post every workout they “complete” along with a picture of their beautifully plated healthy dinner afterwards just to ensure they get some kudos on the active, healthy lifestyle they lead. When, reality is they haven’t laced up their sneakers for a workout or cooked a meal in months. Or yet, those that consistently post pictures of themselves wearing designer from head to toe, hair and makeup perfectly done, and staged in the most picturesque settings. Yep, not real either!

There is no need for any of this! Just do you and stop trying to be someone you are not or create a life you do not have. Everyone who truly knows you (you know, those real friends you have), knows the online version you are portraying is false. They know you, the true you and they love you anyways because they are real friends. They know your life isn’t perfect. In fact, they would likely find you boring if it was. They love you for you, not because you just posted the most amazing pictures from a tropical weekend getaway. They know the truth – you were sitting on your couch binging Netflix all weekend (and there’s nothing wrong with that).  

Everyone wants the world to think they lead a glamorous, exciting life. They feel their true life is boring and would not gain them the attention they so desperately seek. But if only they would share the real details, now that might be something interesting and worth following. Unfortunately, though, many only show evidence of the moments they choose or create for themselves rather than the life they are really living. These individuals will do anything to grab the attention of others. They need outside validation. But with this approach, it will never be found. It always has been and always will be one’s responsibility to validate themselves. No number of comments, likes, followers, or friends will ever provide it.

You should do things because they bring you joy not because of the reaction you will get from the online world. As soon as you post that perfectly captured moment, it cheapens it. You’ve now only partaken in that moment or activity for the simple reason of gaining attention and validation from others. You are not so much cooler online. Get out and experience life for real and capture those moments. Those imperfect, impromptu moments. That’s your life – that’s real and that is what everyone wants to see. No filters, props, or lies needed.

Live your life and love the life you live. Don’t try to custom design it into something it’s not. Your life is perfect as is. You don’t need to pretend it’s any different or exaggerate details to gain attention, approval, or validation of any sort. And if you don’t like your life than change it. We are solely responsible for creating our own realities. No one is coming to save you or validate you. That’s an inside job.