you are not the sum of your internet identity

I am seeing more and more people being miserable online.

I don’t know if it’s just the time of year or something that has happened lately or maybe I just didn’t notice it but I am seeing this more and more online.

Not just on Facebook (although that’s the primary source) but on other social channels.  A sense of true dissatisfaction with one’s personal life.  People complaining that they’re going nowhere and not doing what they want to do.

I think it’s the reason why I am paying less and less attention to social media lately.  I still log on but I barely pay attention to the social media tabs anymore.

I asked two people privately why they were feeling so low and their answer was essentially that they saw the good news posted by their friends online and felt that their own accomplishments or lack thereof made them feel inadequate by comparison.  They also felt that if they couldn’t “keep up” or contribute their own accomplishments at a steady rate that they were not living a worthwhile life.

Ridiculous!

One of the flaws of the internet age is that people project themselves.  Life online and offline can be radically different.  People choose to project themselves in one way or another and it may not reflect reality.

Reminds me of a discussion I had with a high school classmate.  We were discussing going to the 20th high school reunion and he said  he would not go.  I asked him why and he said a lot of people will buy fancy clothes and rent expensive cars to make themselves look more prosperous than they really were.

I think we all do this in a way.  I know that I don’t share all my bad news and I’ve had a good dose of it this year but I don’t like to share it online.  What would be the point to share that with mainly acquaintances?  My friends know my problems already.

What I’d rather do is share positive news and hopefully cheer up or maybe even inspire positive change in people.

But I think even I have to realize that we are not the sum of all these posts online.  We are living, breathing, people.  We have to learn to see beyond the tweets and Facebook posts.

we have to make our real lives more important than our online lives.

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