The Social Media Emperor Isn’t Wearing Any Clothes

No matter how happy people on social media seem, don’t believe them.

Like the little boy in Hans Christian Anderson’s tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes, it’s time we start seeing social media for what it is: A distraction from reality.

The emperor was naked, but only an “ignorant” child dared to acknowledge it.

Tell-Tale Signs

Before allowing a social media post to drag you down into the FOMO rabbit hole, pay attention.

Look for important clues.

Zoom in on the eyes of those in the posts. Eyes are the windows to the soul. Are they as happy as they pretend to be?

Focus on body language. Do people have their arms around each other? And if they do, is it merely so everyone can fit in the picture? Or do they collapse into each other, completely letting go?

Is there alcohol in the photo? Or a reference to alcohol? If sober is the new cool, and feeling your feelings the therapy du jour, why would anyone need alcohol to be happy? Or worse, wouldn’t alcohol just drown out the happy feelings?

Sharing Is Good

I’m not suggesting that every positive and happy post on social media has an underlying dark side. God knows I’ve posted my share of photos to share good times with my friends and family.

Sharing is encouraged, but please refrain from divulging too much personal information. Posting discretion is advised.

Be happy for those who are genuinely happy, but don’t compare yourself to them. You have no idea what their lives are like between their social media posts.

Live your life, not the life you think might be better than yours.

If you look beyond your fear of missing out, you’ll realize you’re not missing out on anything.

After the last social media post of the day, we all go back to our “real” lives.

And while you’re at it, stop feeling sorry for the miserable people, the angry ones, the ones whose posts do nothing but push your buttons.

Unfriending them, unfollowing them, temporarily putting them on pause, or simply telling them that you can see through their “nakedness,” might be the kindest thing you can do for them and, most of all … for yourself.

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