I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Let’s call it the real reason my knees are bruised and torn up in this picture.
It’s something I’ve thought about for years, something I once got so passionate about I pitched it two years ago as a cultural think piece to a magazine that didn’t quite grasp the concept. It’s since been articulated by other writers in important magazines and newspapers all over the globe, which hurts my writer’s ego, but let’s not dwell. (Dear Editors of Publications I Pitch, I have good ideas.)
Here’s what I’ve been thinking: social media has created the maddening illusion that everyone’s lives are perfect.
Facebook is the virtual equivalent of your high school yearbook. Everyone is vying for space on the page and no one wants to look like a loser. So what do we do? We post pictures of our lives at their most exciting. Jet skiing in the Bahamas with my bestie! Front row at Jay-Z! Climbing Kilimanjaro. The view is auh-mazing!
Even the boring stuff seems exciting when photographed from the right angle. Shopping for bananas! The laundry is done! Look it’s my belly button lint!
We upload our best photos. We broadcast our most joyful news. Sometimes, despite our compulsion to put only our best face forward, we share our miseries. Why? Because misery loves company and eventually you need your virtual friends to provide virtual support.