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Everyone is Lying on Social Media and So Am I

Here’s a super personal one:

Everyone is lying on social media and so am I.

I always remind the girls I work with that people online only show you what they want you to see and I’m included in this. There are a million things I’m not sharing here. I haven’t shared that I was robbed a few weeks ago in my own building or that I have about zero holiday spirit since my grandparents passed away. Even now, I’m purposely leaving things out of my story both good and bad. With how easily it is to mindlessly scroll through social media, it’s important to remember that what we see isn’t the whole picture.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we share ourselves and how much time I spend online after reading statements from an interview Sean Parker, the onetime founding president of Facebook and co-founder of Napster, gave about social media:

“We need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments… It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology… God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.” 

I am hypocritically posting publicly, but Parker’s comments made me think about how I don’t want to be addicted to the dopamine hits of “likes and comments” especially when the forum is inherently inauthentic. Why do I zone out of my own life to watch other people’s fake lives? I’m in my 20’s and struggle with this. Imagine the susceptibility of adolescents who are searching for identity and seeking the approval of peers during an incredibly transformative period of time. Of course, there are benefits to social media, but this is something that has shifted my online usage and that is something I want to share. 

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