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AIBU?

To think those who post a lot on social media are generally unhappy in reality?

127 replies

Whatsgoingonwithmyhead · 14/01/2024 15:58

Just a conversation I was having.

Do you think those who post a lot on Instagram are unhappy or insecure?

I’m not taking about those who post because it’s part of the work or business just to be clear

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

345 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
27%
You are NOT being unreasonable
73%
Alloftheskies · 14/01/2024 19:02

I think yabu.
Everyone is different. Perhaps you know if you were doing it it might mean you weren't really happy.. but how could you possibly know that about anyone else?
I post loads of stuff... I just enjoy it. Pictures of flowers, hikes I've done etc I just like pictures. Even before social media I used to take loads of pictures and stick them on my walls.
I'm sure there are some people posting on Instagram who aren't that happy yet pretend to be... but it's just like any other facet of life.. you could meet someone out and about who appears so together and happy and yet behind closed doors they are falling apart.
I don't get this hostility towards social media sometimes. It's just a medium. It's just what people make it. And people are all different. If you don't personally like or enjoy it that's totally fine but you don't need to pretend it's awful for everyone and anyone who likes it has some kind of flaw.

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EffieGraysDisappointingWeddingNight · 14/01/2024 19:02

Not necessarily. I feel like it's a bit of a go-to cliché to say that people who post a lot on social media are doing so to plug some unhappiness gap in their life.

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notlucreziaborgia · 14/01/2024 19:03

Some are, some aren’t.

I’ve found that some people are very invested in the idea that if someone posts on social media about being happy, that they must really be unhappy. It isn’t just a case of believing it though, they actively want those people to be unhappy in order to make themselves feel better. I think that attitude reveals more than a social media post tbh.

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SerenityNowInsanityLater · 14/01/2024 19:12

I used to think that happy posters were just posing. I don't anymore.
I had a very unhappy marriage, very abusive and the rest. I never posted much and my then-husband was invisible on my social media. He just didn't exist. I was ashamed of him. I was ashamed of us. There was nothing to boast about or to be proud of. Now that I'm divorced, my behaviour online hasn't changed much (I don't go on social media much at all) but I can say that looking back, I definitely made conscious choice to not post about my marriage. I was aware of the fact that I couldn't pretend online that everything was great. Whereas now, I just don't post because I'm not really a social media poster. But I am a hell of a lot happier!

On the flip side, I have one friend who is a serial, multiple posts a day poster. It's a bit boring but it's her way of doing her, so to speak. I think she's blissfully happy, in all honesty. She remarried over a decade ago and just nailed it with husband number two. And I think she's just living her best life and letting everyone know. I think it's genuine. And I've come to think that most people who post happy, beautiful, wonderful stuff online are mostly reflecting the truth, within reason. I think life behind closed doors isn't as exciting or as PinterestPerfect as social media can make it seem, but I think 'happy' posters are actually, happy... the bastards!

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Createausername1970 · 14/01/2024 19:17

MsFogi · 14/01/2024 16:09

I find the ones with huge problems in their marriages tend to be the ones who post hugely effusive public messages of love/birthday messages/anniversary etc messages to each other on social media.

It's a generalisation - but I have also noticed this. A friend is currently in a very precarious relationship, they have split up twice that I know of, and she is obviously not happy with many aspects of the relationship when I talk to her, yet the lovey-dovey messages to each other still keep coming! Why??

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littlebopeepp234 · 14/01/2024 19:18

notlucreziaborgia · 14/01/2024 19:03

Some are, some aren’t.

I’ve found that some people are very invested in the idea that if someone posts on social media about being happy, that they must really be unhappy. It isn’t just a case of believing it though, they actively want those people to be unhappy in order to make themselves feel better. I think that attitude reveals more than a social media post tbh.

I can generally tell the unhappy ones from the happy ones despite both sides posting quite a lot. The clue seems to be in the type of content they post.

One person I know of takes multiple selfies on a daily basis and posts them to instagram, every single day without fail - even pictures of her in the bath (obviously only her legs or top half of her body showing). Someone who behaves in such a way stands out to me as a total attention seeker with low self esteem, narcissistic and needing constant validation from others (mostly men). She isn’t an influencer but has a very large following of pervy men. Everyone can see she’s attracting the wrong sort of attention - except her.

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katseyes7 · 14/01/2024 19:19

No. I live alone, I'm no longer in a relationship, l have very good friends, but none geographically close to where l live currently.
Twitter has truly been a lifeline for me over the past few years. I actually 'met' two of my best friends on there, before we met up properly. I have a good few followers, and a 'core' group of people l 'talk' to on there every day.
We have things in common, share a sense of humour, taste in music, etc. My 'real life' friends work, have partners, busy lives, and it's just nice to be able to post something and chat to someone about it, either in depth or just something daft.
I'm not unhappy at all, if anything, the opposite.
And it was genuinely a godsend when l moved a long way from my home town years ago, the only people l 'knew' in the place l moved to were people on twitter, and they were very kind in helping me find my feet.
It is what it is, and what you want it to be.

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TarantinoIsAMisogynist · 14/01/2024 19:21

Unhappy? Maybe, or maybe not.

Insecure? Yes, probably. That's often why they are seeking external validation and attention.

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Alloftheskies · 14/01/2024 19:21

I think this always gets like the introvert/extrovert, night owl/lark, always early/struggles to be on time, posts we often see on mumsnet..
People are different. They may express themselves in a very different way than you do. They may find meaning and joy in things you have no interest in and vice versa.
Some people get joy out of sharing and communicating in this way... some people are very private and would hate that.... neither is inherently morally superior to the other. Both groups of people are capable of being bitter and/or fake and both groups of people are capable of being genuine lovely people happy with their lives

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Januaryisthepits · 14/01/2024 19:32

I don’t think so, but I can only say for myself really. When I’m down or unhappy, I tend not to post for a long time, I tend to do catch up posts in one big go, maybe every month or so and I only really post if happy. It’s true I also post when I have more time to sit down and be arsed to do it (make a reel etc)
I am pretty baffled by the people who post basically their whole day on stories, every element of their lives daily, how 🤷🏻‍♀️

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BubbleBubbleBubbleBubblePop · 14/01/2024 19:34

In my experience, yes. The one person on my Facebook is a very unhappy person in real life but to read her Facebook, you'd think her life was just one happy adventure. I can't of course say this is the case with everyone, only in my own experience.

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fisky · 14/01/2024 19:37

In the main, yes. Of my friends who are prolific posters nearly all of them are really desperate for validation. One is just happy and insanely chatty.

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NonPlayerCharacter · 14/01/2024 19:38

Some people who are positive on FB are just trying to, well, be positive. Nobody wants to see or hear a load of negativity.

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decisionssmecisions · 14/01/2024 19:41

Yep, but I'm not making wild extrapolations from that about the inner workings of their lives and minds and happiness

I was simply pointing out the contradiction

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Jeannie88 · 14/01/2024 19:42

I would probably say yes, especially as some I know really don't have anything of worth to talk about so post to try and have some irrelevant fantasy in their lives.

I used to be a poster but was just funny posts, showing off holidays and travel I guess but never any personal achievements. Since then I've had so much to show the world still but keep it to whattsapp groups, I jist vringe at the thought of tagging every aspect of my life and also I just done have the time as too busy living it and being in the moment. So many personal things, like bereavement, wouldn't dram.of posting so heartbreaking and personal just to get sympathy because those who care know and are in contact with me.

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Januaryisthepits · 14/01/2024 19:42

What would we say posting a lot is though? I’d say I do a post on stories (ig) maybe every 2-4 weeks, maybe. I’m a weird poster as in I could do every day/night for a few nights, then nothing for ages. I’d probably do a reel/grid post every month.
On Fb I rarely post at all

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sssf24 · 14/01/2024 19:45

Personally, I tend to post more when I'm happier. Right now I'm pretty 'meh' in general with life and I haven't posted anything of any substance in months.

When I'm happy I tend to take pictures of things/times I want to remember and post them.


Exact same here.

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rwalker · 14/01/2024 19:48

Judging from my own friends yes definitely

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KissMyArt · 14/01/2024 19:53

I'm not sure really.

To some it's probably as addictive as Mumsnet but doesn't necessarily mean they're unhappy.

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Kazzyhoward · 14/01/2024 19:59

Nope. Our son spends far too much time on SM (in our opinion), but he's never been happier! His entire social life revolves around friends he's made through SM, many of whom have become friends in real life and it's enabled him to stay in constant contact with friends he's left behind, i.e. friends from school, friends from university, etc., now he's moved away for his first proper job! It was social media that got him through the misery of starting University in lockdown when the Uni was all online and he was basically "trapped" in his university flat for months as all teaching/lectures etc were online, clubs and societies were stopped, etc etc. If done "properly" and without obsessive behaviour, there's nothing wrong with social media. Trouble is, like lots of things, flawed personality traits manifest themselves via social media, but those people would probably have "issues" in real life if there was no social media - it would manifest itself in other ways.

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SwirlyShirly · 14/01/2024 20:02

Umm, not always I don't think. I'm very active on instagram as I have found a very supportive community that I don't have in real life, doesn't mean I'm not happy in real life I just don't know anyone else that can relate to what I post about. I use it like a diary and to support other people going through the same thing, as I think lots of other people do too.

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alwaysmovingforwards · 14/01/2024 20:11

Couldn't say they're unhappy, but could confidently say those who post a lot have a high social drive to feel connected, have upper end needs to be noticed by others and actively seek external validation, which itself often correlates with feelings of insecurity.

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Perhapsanorhertimewouldbebetter · 14/01/2024 20:24

decisionssmecisions · 14/01/2024 18:51

@Perhapsanorhertimewouldbebetter Im certainly judgemental of the whole Kardashian sm culture & the impact on young people. Again I’m not sure what that says about my personal happiness?

I personally would rather spend my time doing what I enjoy instead of reading lots of SM posts just to judge and criticise said posts. The latter is what a lot of folk seem to do, sadly.

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NonPlayerCharacter · 14/01/2024 20:28

decisionssmecisions · 14/01/2024 19:41

Yep, but I'm not making wild extrapolations from that about the inner workings of their lives and minds and happiness

I was simply pointing out the contradiction

I don't think there is one, actually. MN is a discussion forum; I'm perfectly aware I might see a viewpoint I disagree with or find silly, but I can't block users or sign up to them and it's in the nature of the platform. You don't know what you'll see until you look, although to be fair you can guess.

It isn't really equivalent to a social media feed where you actively connect with another individual by choice and opt to see all their content specifically, and then complain when it annoys you.

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decisionssmecisions · 14/01/2024 20:31

I don't think there is one, actually. MN is a discussion forum; I'm perfectly aware I might see a viewpoint I disagree with or find silly, but I can't block users or sign up to them and it's in the nature of the platform. You don't know what you'll see until you look, although to be fair you can guess

You can't tell from a thread titled "to think those that post a lot on social media are generally unhappy in reality" what it might be about?

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