Friday, 30 October 2015

Dear Social Media Star, I have Every Right to Share My Life too.


 

I want you to imagine a person who has everything that you are currently working towards in your life. Imagine that they have the dream house, the dream relationship, the dream job, the dream friends, the dream life and a perfect personal brand and reputation. Picture the kind of person that has over 5000 friends on Facebook and each time they post a simple selfie, within an hour they get over 300 likes and 100 comments.

Visualize a person who is always dressed impeccably, and speaks so eloquently, even when caught off guard in an office meeting. They are always seen at the hippest events, and let’s not forget to add the fact that they have  a feature column in the national newspaper to share their latest escapades.  Imagine this person is always posting pictures of themselves and ‘bae’ on some paradise island trip, while you are busy sunbathing at home in your garden reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘ Eat Pray Love’.They have told people that “bae” is amazing and fulfills all their dreams and expectations, so poor ‘bae’ joins the perfectionist bandwagon by focusing on making the kind of money that maintains their lifestyle. ‘Bae’ has no time to post perfect selfies. You are not jealous of this person, rather you admire their tenacity to  reach  their goals and really succeed  life.
Now let’s add a little twist to the story. Imagine discovering that the person is obsessed with your life.  This person would like to know every detail of your life, from the house you live in, to the friends you have, to the person that you are dating. Immediately upon befriending them online, this person went and studied every Facebook post you’d ever made and every tweet you’d sent out.  When you realized this, you  decided to alter your name on Instagram, because you were tired of the online trolling. All this time, you were quite content to share your simple life with your 150 Facebook friends, until this person, started making sly comments about how boring your life was.  Eventually, after while you find yourself questioning your mundane existence, and you stopped posting your life events and stuck to the regular bible and inspirational quotes. One day after this person had thrown a full blown public tantrum in my face because I’d subtly blocked them on Facebook , I found some time to reflect on the way home about the kind life that would create such behavior. I wonder whether some Social Media Stars unknowingly set a claustrophobic trap for themselves by the life they create online.

They set the bar high and make it impossible for themselves to appear human and flawed.  I am a picture of flaws so I am not surprised when people point them out.  My experience in this particular case was that, anyone who didn’t bow in adoration was  bullied and manipulated to help the star maintain their status and reputation. Although it makes me giggle, one has to admit it’s hard work taking the perfect selfie. You have to think of the background, the prefect angle for your face, all the while balancing the phone at the right height so that you can catch the right light! I feel sorry that some social media stars have made everyone believe they don’t make mistakes. That bad days don’t happen and, that acne breakouts consider their skin an inhabitable foreign planet. We have all been made authors and artists because of the way we can narrate our lives on social media.  I believe that we all have a right to share the good, the bad and the ugly of our story as we choose.   Is it too much to ask that anyone who wishes to part take in any social media discussion try and use some social media etiquette too? 

Originally Published on : Memoirs of a Kangaroo in the Sun 

1 comment:

  1. Just seen this...
    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/nov/03/instagram-star-essena-oneill-quits-2d-life-to-reveal-true-story-behind-images?CMP=fb_gu

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