Projecting the Perfect Life

September 04, 2014

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 As a kind, well-rounded person with a realistic view on life and the world.

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, when people returned home from work nobody knew what they did until they told them, face to face, the next day. What was eaten for dinner was kept a secret and what you were randomly thinking was kept hush-hush. What went on behind closed doors wasn't spread all over the internet in less that 140 characters or documented so thoroughly with eighty-three pictures on Facebook. Some things were, unbelievably, left unsaid.

Now before you start jumping on twitter calling me a hypocrite for declaring the human race a bunch of over-sharers, that is not my point here. I too am guilty of updating my twitter to let you know how much or little I've done in a day or how cute the dog is looking as she sleeps on the couch. I don't deny that. However, I do feel that there is a danger with over sharing every little, good detail of our lives and I don't mean anything to do with our security although I'm sure that's a topic for another time. No, the real danger is what it is doing to our perceptions of other people's lives.

Statuses pop up right, left and centre about people you went to school with moving out, securing a dream job, getting married, having children. Photographs of incredible holidays to exotic places you could only dream of going or wild nights out with a huge group of friends cover our screens. Whilst it can be incredibly interesting to peek into the lives of those we know before long we are struck by the thought that perhaps we are missing out.

When I got married last month I shared photos from the day on twitter, facebook and on this very blog. Not in a bid to show off in a look-at-me-my-life-is-ah-mazing sort of way but to include those who couldn't be there.  It would be silly of me to deny that I wasn't bragging a little. Something amazing had just happened in my life; I'd married the man of my dreams. Of course I wanted to scream it from the rooftops but I wouldn't want to imply that my life is perfect. It isn't.

I see the irony in this, of course. I'm a blogger. Part of what I do is share the good moments in my life but I also try to show that sometimes things aren't all rainbows and butterflies. This is why I have such an issue with those who believe that negativity should be kept from the blogosphere. Whether it's a review for a beauty product that didn't live up to your expectations or a struggle that a lifestyle blogger is experiencing there is no reason, as long as they are comfortable, not to share.

As a society we use social media to present the best version of us. We don't think that anyone would be interested in the bad. We are to embarrassed or ashamed to show that we don't like the way we look today or how we are struggling mentally, financially, physically so instead we post updates of what we had for dinner, the amazing places we visited or the great time we spent with friends. "Hey," we say to the world, "look at me. I'm cool. I have friends. My life is great!" To be honest, a lot of the time social media feels a lot like high school. We spend a tonne of time trying our best to fit in by showing what new things we've got or what we've accomplished. I don't know about you but I'm happy to leave high school behind.

To give the impression of having the perfect life can be detrimental, not only to ourselves but to others. By projecting only one side of our life (the happy moments) we teach anyone who looks on that only having good in our life is completely achievable. It isn't. Everyone experiences good and bad and it's okay to show that to the outside world.

We've all seen the big bloggers or youtubers explaining to their poor, naive followers that their lives aren't peachy 100% of the time and yet so many of them do nothing to show us that. Instead they give the impression that things always work out for them, that they are happy 24/7, that they are living "the dream".

I know that sharing the tough times isn't for everyone. I'm a pretty private person myself and I don't need to be sharing every little negative thing with all of you every time something doesn't go as planned. However as a reader, a viewer, a friend I think that it is important to remember that the life we project to the outside world often isn't exactly accurate. Even the brightest and happiest of people have dark moments that leave them feeling awful.

So the next time you want someone else's life think again. You don't know the battles that they fight every day much like I'm sure they don't know yours.
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  1. Totally agree with your speech. Scrolling down youtubers'/bloggers' s social media usually the main comments are: "Lucky you, your life is amazing" or "I wish I were you" but they don't think that also "famous people" are real people too, who have sad days, unlucky experiences, etc.

    Anyway congratulation for your wedding, I saw the photos and everything (especially your dress) was really pretty.

    Have a good day!
    Free Spirit

    1. Thank you :)

      I suppose that with a lot of the big youtubers/bloggers the majority of their following is young, impressionable teens who don't quite have a grasp on the idea that these are normal people who have good and. I just think it is important to give a realistic view of your life or at the very least remember that people only show you what they want you to see and not the whole picture.

      Debi x

  2. Blogs that are too rosy and too merry actually put me off reading them I will be honest. I want it real, I want the good and the bad, because let's not pretend here, that's what life is. If someone had a bad experience share what they learnt from it, if the product didn't match the hype why not and what would they recommend?!

    Apparently that seems like asking a lot :s

    I just throw everything out there lol.

    1. I agree, it's all a bit suspicious when everything is so amazing. I like seeing bits of everything, I don't mind, I enjoy the variety. I find it's much easier to interact with someone when their lives relatively normal (for lack of a better word). Sharing is caring and all that.

      But yeah, it's probably too much. Stop asking, don't be greedy ;)

    2. I think the lack of negativity, well not negativity perhaps, but maybe just normal life - the good the bad, I actually don't think it's healthy. It all feeds into the notion that life, your home, your career, your style, the way you look has to be a perfect way (that's unless you already have the confidence to say sod it i don't care) but I can imagine it has a hard impression on some folks.

    3. It just doesn't feel realistic to only project the good. Overall I would rather keep my blog a positive space but I'm not afraid to talk about some tough times and what I've learnt from them. By only sharing the really good stuff I think it perpetuates the idea that there is such a thing as a perfect life and you're failing by not achieving it.

      In my opinion it'd definitely healthier just to throw everything out there, put all your cards on the table so to speak. Plus if everything appears to be rosey ALL the time it'll end up annoying me! ;)

      Debi x


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