Social media and the perfect life

(42 Posts)
DottySay Mon 17-Aug-20 10:01:19

Anyone know anyone who’s social media life was not as posted and was less than perfect in reality? (I’m just trying to make myself feel better about all the glossy photos I see blush )

A friend from school was forever posting about her extravagant life with her fiancé. Turned out she was cheating on him and ended the engagement a few months later. Going from her online accounts you’d have thought she was with her perfect man.

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Soblueithurts Mon 17-Aug-20 10:04:50

Yes I had a friend constantly posting photos with her fiancé and the beautiful house they had just bought, they broke up recently and she told me it had been hell for months (when she was posting all the photos) and she has since called the police because he has changed the locks etc and won’t let her in. Also a friend who is pregnant and posting photos wandering around Ikea with her baby dad but behind the scenes he is extremely controlling and she has had to go and stay in the countryside to get away from him.

AwkwardAsAllGetout Mon 17-Aug-20 10:05:04

None of it’s true. It’s the edited highlights of people’s lives. I had crippling PND for dd’s first year. All I posted was pictures of her smiling and looking adorable because that’s what people want to see. People don’t post their bad days, they post when their homes look immaculate and the chaos isn’t showing. I’m so glad I don’t use Instagram, and only now share pics occasionally on Facebook for family to see, I think insta promotes a really harmful idea of a reality that just doesn’t exist.

DottySay Mon 17-Aug-20 10:08:13

I agree it’s very harmful. I know the answer is not to look at it but sometimes I even get photos sent directly to me on WhatsApp!

It can make you feel so shit with the lengthy captions etc. There have been a few ‘love of my life posts’ only for the marriage to end a year later.

I have been guilty of it in the past as well. These days I don’t bother!

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ThirtyAndASmidgen Mon 17-Aug-20 10:09:59

I have a few couples like this on my Facebook - extravagant weddings, soppy posts, etc. One of the men is an incorrigible cheat (multiple mistresses over many years) and I went to a dinner with the other couple where they sat in sullen silence and didn’t say a word to each other!

HolyPillow Mon 17-Aug-20 10:12:22

Honestly, OP, use your head. The kind of people who are heavily-dependent on projecting an idealised version of their life on social media are (a) likely to be pretty vapid and (b) don't really expect anyone else to take it at face value.

No one's life is like this, and no one really thinks anyone else's life is like this.

nancybotwinbloom Mon 17-Aug-20 10:12:37

Everyone's probably.

I'm at the eye hospital now because I have fluid on my eye and I'm having test to see why.

I'm Not going to post about it.

I might post pics of the dog and my DD in the park or me out with friends etc. That type of thing.

I don't post when I have row my husband.

People also post all kinds of pic about what they have bought etc etc. No one posts their credit card statement though.

If it's making you feel bad by comparison then delete it for a bit. It's 90% crap anyway xx


litterbird Mon 17-Aug-20 10:12:46

Yes, yes, of my closest friends lives in the most unbelievable house with her husband....constantly posts amazing pics. Her husband hates her, they dont get on...he wants a divorce and they are about to lose the house due to big debt. She desperately wants to hang on to the dream life and keeps posting all these wonderful pics. All her friends notice this and its desperately sad quite frankly and we are there for her to support her when she phones in tears when her husband decides he is out for a date with someone he meets on line.

Heartofstrings Mon 17-Aug-20 10:15:34

I'm not sure I understand this thread. I post cute pictures of my boys and generally being awesome. I want to be reminded of them at a later date. Why would I post pictures of them lounging in their pants and watching telly or screaming at each other?

blossomsarepretty Mon 17-Aug-20 10:16:43

Yes, my cousin's wife was constantly posting soppy loved up posts about the two of them, complementing her most amazing husband and how she is the luckiest person alive.

They are now divorced and she lives with the man she was cheating on him with when she was posting all those Facebook posts.

DottySay Mon 17-Aug-20 10:18:05

heartofstrings well you wouldn’t...we know people won’t post the bad bits of life but that’s not really the thread!

It was just a lighthearted thread about people who go out of their way to position their lives and you know in reality it is different

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AlexisCarringtonColbyDexter Mon 17-Aug-20 10:19:43

Good grief, you dont believe social media - its all BS.
Of the people I know:

1. One posts constant throwbacks to her posh destination wedding- lots of photos of them gazing into each others eyes. They broke up a year ago because he hit her, she went to a women's shelter and is worryingly now back with him posting gushy photos again.
2. Friend who constantly posts selfies with her husband calling him "my rock" "love of my life" etc This time last year she was having a full blown emotional affair which then progressed to a sexual affair with another man. He ended it and her husband talked about moving out but neither could afford it so they stayed together.
3. Guy I went to school with who posted constant hashtags about how he was the "best boyfriend ever" and photos of rose strewn hotel rooms for his girlfriend and fancy gifts etc. Comments were all "wow- she's one lucky lady!" etc. Well, he was actually drunken messaging me the entire time begging me to sleep with him. Obv I said no.
4. Various posts from people i went to school with bragging and virtue signalling about "being kind" when I know for a fact they are literal bullies in real life.
5. Ex next door neighbour posting memes about BLM when she racially abused my husband several years ago and the police arrested her for it.

And on and on and on. FB is a carefully collected selection of material to paint people in their best light. Thats all it is. It doesnt mean its true, accurate or even remotely related to whats going on in real life.

Raella50 Mon 17-Aug-20 10:23:34

I love social media and regularly post photos of our family life. It’s like an online journal and I love being reminded of what we got up to in the past. Of course not everyone on social media is secretly very unhappy! However, these are snapshots of our lives. I haven’t posted a photo of my washing up or other mundane chores because why would I want to reflect back on that later?! I don’t post about illnesses, bereavements, arguments, moments of stress either. For me, it’s a really positive way of documenting what I’m most grateful in life and in sharig in those moments of my loved ones too. It’s not supposed to be a warts and all autobiography.

OhMsBeliever Mon 17-Aug-20 10:29:59

Mine, I guess.

You would see all the pics I posted about days out with my kids. But no pics of my husband. Because I didn't want him in my photos, or he wasn't there because he was too drunk to join us.

Thankfully he's an ex now, but no one on social media knew what was going on.

LirBan Mon 17-Aug-20 10:36:30

oh yeh, I had one friend who was confiding all sorts to me but STILL posting the wonderful life on fb. Did make me want to say to her that she should stop trying to portray a perfect life and try to be braver (leaving) not waste energy trying to be ''perfect''. We never talked about social media. I was the stereotypical person that nobody envied when my kids were small, I was a single mother struggling financially. Now I'm in a better place, more secure, own job, own house, freedom round the corner, and I'm feeling very excited about that, but if I were to start posting the things that make me feel optimistic about the future ''kids will be old enough to leave home alone soon'' and ''no man to run around after'' and ''nobody to rip the rug out from under me'' and ''security is all mine!'' and ''I have a job I like'' people would be confused what, no wonderful husband? what no new kitchen?

People who buy in to this ''look how perfect my life is'' on facebook are being sold a crock.

I value equilibrium, emotional and social intelligence, resilience, freedom, wisdom, health, security, contentment, real friendships one to one. None of that is ever valued on facebook.

I am on facebook mind you.

Crumpetswithbutter Mon 17-Aug-20 10:41:49

I like to run outdoors and cycle, so I would post about that on social media because that was the fun stuff that I thought people would be interested in. After two friends commented about how active and sporty I was, I realized that I was giving a false impression - yes, I might get up and do something really active for an hour or two at the start of the day, but the vast majority of weekend is spent sitting on my ass watching crap property programmes on TV and eating takeaway pizza in a onesie, so I make sure I post more of a balance of things now!

LirBan Mon 17-Aug-20 10:46:35


Mine, I guess.

You would see all the pics I posted about days out with my kids. But no pics of my husband. Because I didn't want him in my photos, or he wasn't there because he was too drunk to join us.

Thankfully he's an ex now, but no one on social media knew what was going on.

That's no a lie per se though. It was a day out with your kids. I hate the notion that you have nothing to celebrate if there's not a HUSBAND there with you. So conservative. So patriarchal. I celebrate the bravery of women who go places on their own. That is my new focus actually. Not that it takes bravery to go out with your own children! But if I went on a singles holiday for example, would I be embarrassed to post that!? Possibly. At the moment. But I think by the time I do have the freedom to do it I will reframe it as SO glad i was brave enough to enjoy the freedom I now have. Not many will ''get'' that bravery is something to really be proud about. If I can be brave enough to do the things I sometimes fear to do alone, then I will know I'm '''truly blessed'' But you know, bravery is not a husband. It's beautiful garden furniture. So probably one or two friends might if they see it press like but it won't get 99 likes. There are things that people are more comfortable liking. Family scenes.

One1 Mon 17-Aug-20 10:53:53

Ha ha, it depends on how people want to look at it! Pre Covid I used to travel quite a lot with my long term partner. He would post pics on SM but nothing flashy. Then I attended a school reunion where former colleagues were all married, some divorced, took pride in their kids as they saw them as their biggest achievement in life. The backlash I got from them when I said I haven’t done much with my life since I wasn’t either married or a parent. Apparently they were envying my lifestyle as I was always travelling and free to do whatever I wanted.
And yes, I know lots of people who post shiny stuff on purpose. A collaborator once checked in into a world famous hotel when we were having a business meeting next door in a chain cafe. And the list goes on.

galinblue432 Mon 17-Aug-20 10:59:31

I saw a couple I vaguely know out the other day for dinner. They looked miserable throughout and don't think they said a word to each other, sometimes just sat on their phones. He then took a picture of her by the bar and then they left.
A few hours later i see on Instagram she's posted the picture with the caption "date night with the love of my life 😍".
You've gotta laugh!!!

PamDemic Mon 17-Aug-20 11:01:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlingLoving Mon 17-Aug-20 11:19:58

Agree with all the posters who say you don't, as a rule, post about the washing up or the kids bickering (I DID seek significant commiseration from friends on SM when my dishwasher died at the beginning of lockdown however...grin). I think that's normal and perfectly fine.

However, I am always deeply suspicious of the super gushy posts, "Happy birthday to the most wonderful dad and husband ever. The kids and I are the luckiest to have you in our lives. We love you to the moon and back my darling #loveofmylife #bestestdaddy" because IRL, I have 100% correlation between people who post those and people who have told me about the significant issues in their relationships. Similarly, a woman I don't know very well used to post a lot of these so imagine my nonsurprise when she suddenly posted about their divorce.

I suspect there's an interesting sociological study in this somewhere.

Jellybeansincognito Mon 17-Aug-20 11:21:34

I’m finding it concerning to be honest.

Between the grey and white show homes, the normal people who have turned into walking advertisements there’s women who are eating unhealthy and posing in raunchy swimwear showing all their skin and bones.

Then there’s people who constantly say they’re blessed and happy, when in reality they’re in the most delusional head space there is brought there by how deeply unhappy they were and how desperately they wanted to not feel like that anymore.
Yet, in the same sentence of how happy and blessed they are they post about what they’re manifesting.
I can’t imagine wanting for more constantly is the basis of happiness. I don’t like the way these people post like they’re ‘winning’ at life because of this either.

It’s a joke, isn’t it?

BlingLoving Mon 17-Aug-20 11:22:19

Also, I know two people who are constantly posting throwback pictures. I mean CONSTANTLY. It also makes me deeply deeply suspicious that they have nothing in their current lives they want to post about. BIL is always posting pics from old holidays they've taken - even ones from like 5 years ago. It's just WEIRD (--and no, he has very little in his life but that's a different story--)

Poppyismyfavourite Mon 17-Aug-20 11:40:56

Haha everyone posts the good bits! I am guilty of this too - yes I post a pretty pic of the cat sunbathing in the garden - but you can be sure I waited until AFTER we'd spent weeks doing it all up and it looks lovely! Not the pics where there are piles of rubbish in the garden and scaffolding on the house!

However I reckon there must be a correlation between how bad your relationship is and how often you post about it on facebook... I've been with DH over 8 years and he's probably featured in only a handful of facebook posts in that whole time (and never ABOUT him per se, it'll be a pic of us together at someone's party or on a walk or something).

AlexisCarringtonColbyDexter Mon 17-Aug-20 11:43:05

However I reckon there must be a correlation between how bad your relationship is and how often you post about it on facebook

Totally agree! The one that baffles me is when couples gush to each other over facebook when they both LIVE TOGETHER. Why are you having conversations online when you could, you know, just talk to each other? To me, thats a massive sign their relationship is crumbling.

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