Social Media: Perception vs Reality

 In guest blogger

Social Media has a very vulnerable “perception vs reality”. There are countless views and takes on the social media world, making it painful to go with just one. I think it’s important to take and appreciate social media for what it is.

When I started my blog and created separate social media accounts, I did it knowing that some of my everyday pictures weren’t going to be “blog-worthy”. Using my blog as a business, I needed to create a certain perception, but still kept my personal pages for less formal, less filtered pictures and posts.

I spend time picking one picture out of twenty-five taken that all look basically identical. Then it’s slightly edited (mainly because I don’t have mad edit skills) and posted to social media. While hundreds of people are scrolling past this picture, I’m loading three kids into a car with cheerios and water bottles littered all over the floor. I’m grumbling through texts to my husband that no one seems to be listening to me or that I’ve spent the past two hours cleaning up the same mess nine times. But the picture I just posted shows my family splashing on the beach with no worries or messes to be seen. That picture is creating your perception.

Perception is calculated, organized, and predictable.

Reality is messy, chaotic and unpredictable, and involves tantrums and outfit changes due to baby spit up. 

We go on social media and see a picture perfect feed. We create a perception that some people can do everything with a smile on their face, hair and makeup on point, in a spotless house with fresh flowers on the kitchen counter.

We’re seeing pictures of split seconds and trying to put together a whole story. We’re seeing the shiny, edited picture, where everything undesirable is blurred out.

We’re not seeing the breakfast nook with yogurt spilled all over it on the other side of the picture. We’re not scrolling through pictures of fighting kids, tantrums, and parents begging their kids to take two bites of vegetables. We’re seeing tiny squares of filtered life.

If there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s that comparison is the thief of  joy. Especially when you’re comparing your life to someone’s social media. When we take to social media, we need to be scrolling through looking for inspiration, not comparison. Go into social media knowing that more than half the photos are filtered, whether it be through a phone app or before the picture is even taken. Most of the pictures you scroll past have been created with awareness to make you feel a certain way.

The best filter to see things through? Our eyes.

Look up and see the beauty, then get your phone out to snap a picture! Share the awe-inspiring people, places and experiences of your life.  Because we all want to know.

Copyright © 2017 Alex Metallo. Used by permission.

Alex is a wife to her love and a Christ follower. She’s currently deep in the trenches of motherhood raising three littles. Alex spends most of her days running a business with her husband and changing the world by loving her family. She enjoys strong coffee, good jokes, and showing her children the wonders on earth; which requires more strong coffee and a sense of humor.  Alex’s writings have been published on multiple parenting websites including ScaryMommy.com and in Tampa Bay Parenting magazine. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences but would much rather be a storyteller on AlexTheRealHousemom.com

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