I have been a Facebook user since 2007 and I have always noticed something about the website that bothers me. No matter who is on there posting about whatever, everyone seems to have a perfect life. All the parents post perfectly flawless pictures of their children (how does a kid never get his/her picture taken without having food on their face?), all of the couples have an absolutely perfect and romantic relationship, thus making everyone jealous of what they have (what is a relationship without drama?) and they always post about their lives like they have a perfect Hollywood movie-type life.
Pardon me, but I sense fiction everywhere! No one has a 100 percent perfect life so why does everyone on Facebook pretend that their life is perfect? Why is everyone afraid to speak the truth about their life? Talk about the mistakes they have made? What happened to being real?
— Seeking non-fiction posts
Dear Seeking non-fiction posts,
Welcome to the cyber world where everyone likes to pretend that they are someone else whether for a moment, for an album, or for a post, and a lot of times the posts are sadly fiction.
Facebook users as well as other social media users tend to use social media sites as an escape from their real-world life. Everyone wants to feel like others envy the life they have when they don’t realize that there are plenty of people out there who would actually envy the true life they really have.
Users have it all wrong. Don’t fake how your life is, as your “real life” can be more inspiring than the one you make up. What’s wrong with having some pictures of your children with peanut butter all over their face? That’s actually quite funny, and when someone sees that they will almost relive the funny moment you had with your child when you took that photo. It might also put a smile on someone’s face who may have just received some terrible news that day. Seeing your child’s face covered in peanut butter could trigger a happy memory for them about their own childhood.
People can relate better to what is real in the world as we all have to deal with real life every day. Sure, joining the fiction side every now and then might seem like a great escape temporarily, but how long do you think the fiction act will last? Real life lasts forever, as fiction is only temporary.
For all of those social media users out there, don’t be afraid to speak or post the truth. You and your boyfriend broke up? Don’t post that you are about to get married. Instead tell the truth, and your friends and family will reach out to you and comfort you. Perhaps you can make a new friend online who may have just recently went through a break up as well and you two can help each other get through it. Lose your job? Chances are someone else on Facebook did, too. Perhaps by posting about your job loss, someone else might know someone that is hiring and can help you find a new job. File bankruptcy? Perhaps you can help walk someone else through the process so they don’t feel so guilty and alone to go through with it. Did you put your shoes on the wrong feet today and trip? Run into a screen door? Share it with others as that will make their day.
Let’s be real and not be afraid to show our true side. You never know who you can help if you do. And always remember that life isn’t perfect, so don’t try to make your life seem perfect as others will see right through your fiction.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.