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Time to drop social media personas and get back to reality

By Li Qingqing / Global Times Share:
Social Media Icons Displayed On The Screen of A Phone. flickr/Mike MacKenzie

Have you seen people who take pictures of food for more than 10 minutes before starting to eat? How about those who beautify their selfie so much so that they cannot anymore be recognized?

Or, have you met people who show off their exquisite and expensive daily necessities – Dyson supersonic hair dryer, Miele tumble dryer – at the expense of high monthly repayments and living beyond their means?

There must be one or more who exist in your WeChat Moments. No matter what they choose to share, they share the best and even the most unreal. These people have one thing in common: Their life seems to be surprisingly exquisite on social media. But in reality? Not so much.

Take my friend Chen. Every time I went to a restaurant with her, she would not take a bite until all the dishes we ordered were on the table. Then, she would spend five minutes on setting the dishes in a seemingly random but in fact meticulously arranged order. Then the most important part: taking pictures. After that, she would choose one out of more than 20 pictures which basically looked the same, click in the filter app and add a filter for food to it.

The food eventually looked 10 times more delicious and exquisite in WeChat Moments than it really was. We had no chance to really enjoy the food, though – it all went cold before we even had time to eat.

But Chen’s real life is much less exquisite. She hates to wash the dishes, so she leaves them in the sink for days. She is also “too busy” to clean up, let alone listen to those vinyl records that she bought weeks ago – they were bought only to be shared on social media.

Is this self-deceiving? Do we care too much about others’ opinions and try too hard to please others? Many people find it hard to be confident and to accept themselves, and thus they are afraid to show their real life on social media. What they are trying to prove is precisely what they lack in reality: luxurious fine things, leisurely and carefree spare time, etc. But this will not bring any change to reality, as they still follow the same old pattern of life.

After all, people do not live in WeChat Moments or any other social media platform. The life they choose to share is only data that is stored on their mobile phones. People eventually have to come back to reality. If they really want an elegant, classy and exquisite life, they should put more effort into achieving it instead of fabricating it.

Looking at themselves honestly should be the first step for these people. When people accept their real life, they can lower their ideal self-image and be more realistic and confident.

People will also feel happier if they no longer max out credit cards or go beyond their budgets just to show off expensive things online. Likewise, if people go to the library and gym and really focus on reading and body building instead of taking pictures, they will get rewarding results in the end.

Indeed, nobody wants to show a messy life to other people. Everyone wants to be admired and even envied. But how does it feel when you receive tens or even hundreds of “likes” online but find out that nothing has changed when you come back to real life?

Being more confident, accepting yourself and trying your best to be a better person is much more meaningful than beautifying your life on social media. Global Times.

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