Why do we present a perfect life online?

Let’s face it – no one has a perfect life. No one, not even the celebrities we envy. There’s always something else we want, somewhere else we would go or something else we would change. Life, however brilliant it is, is never completely perfect.

When you scroll through social media, though, you never see that side.

It’s the reason social media is so addictive. We want to see Kylie Jenner’s new clothes or some Love Island runner up’s amazing holiday. We marvel at people’s selfies even though we know that they are Photoshopped and filtered within an inch of their life. We consume this perfection and internalise it, wishing that our lives could measure up and cursing ourselves for every unflattering photo and every time we can’t make out like we make the most of every day.

But there’s beauty in the mundane and the imperfection.

Take this photo of Jack and me from our travels. Of course this isn’t the photo that would make it int the photo album or onto social media. Jack looks great (as frikkin per…) but I’m blinded by the sun.

But it’s not a bad image. If anything, it makes me smile more than the posed version does. It brings back so many memories. It makes me remember that we walked for 40 minutes in 39 degree heat to go to the museum. It makes me remember how bright it was and how it took us ages to get a photo because I had to keep looking down.

reality

It makes me remember the realness of the moment.

There’s nothing wrong with presenting perfection on Instagram. We all do it, myself included. Sure I will share the odd makeup free photo, but I still make sure I’m smiling nicely in it. My apartment isn’t worth millions, but if I ever post a photo of it I will make sure it’s tidy and looking the best it can.

I’d put it down to the fact that deep down we all just want to be liked. We want people to look at our profiles and think ‘they look like a nice person’ or ‘they’re having fun’. There’s no shame in that. It’s nice being liked, what can I say.

I guess my point in all of this rambling is just to remember that social media and the versions everyone portrays on here aren’t real. We can keep our online persona as close to reality as possible, but there will always be some part of yourself that you edit out or hide. Someone can post the nicest sentiments about you online, but if that’s not how they treat you in real life then it means nothing. You might be able to edit your photos until you look like a supermodel, but if it doesn’t look like you then the only person you’re fooling is yourself.

As scary as being ‘real’ is and as much as some people might not like it, it really is the most important thing you can be.

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