Life is the laziest person at work who gets paid twice as much as you, the credit card you forgot on the counter this morning, the unappreciative friend you continue to do things for, the book you’re forced to read that has nothing to do with your major, and the dinner for five you burnt last night.
But these days, life is also sepia tone, lo-fi, and x-pro II. Life these days is misattributed quotes from Pinterest and “Live, laugh, love.” Life is full of teeth whiteners, smiley emoticons, and retouching tools. And life is “OMG I just got back from doing an Insanity workout and running like 20 miles. So effing tired and sweaty! BRB”
My point? Life can be portrayed how you want online. Only post photos that make you look good if you want to. Appear creative and outgoing when in person you’re reserved and unimaginative, if you want to. Because you can.
Creating these facades, and these alternate personas becomes addicting. And although you may not go out of your way to create a completely parallel universe of awesome, you might do it too. It’s an easy trap to fall into. Slowly, the sepia tones of a funnier, racier, more popular life take over. Slowly, you are actively participating not in how your life is, but how your life is perceived.
I made a hobby of this in college. Take what you wish you could be like in real life, and live through that online identity. People constantly confuse my tweets, posts and pictures as a false attempt at motivational communication.
“What’s up with you? You’re awfully encouraging lately.”
“Seriously? You’re just pulling fake messages out of your ass.”
Barring the fact that it would probably hurt to pull that many things out of my ass, my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts with my name attached to them are for my own enjoyment, not yours.
They remind me to make the greatest attempt at being kind and genuine to people I come in contact with. They remind me to be appreciative of my family who paid for my athletic gear, apartment furniture, and college education. They remind me that even a superstar like LeBron James will never be good enough for everyone. (Seriously, look at some of the things people tweet at him.) They remind me that there are people in this world who have it a lot worse than I do. They remind me that as crazy as I think I am, there’s an idiot somewhere in this world getting drunk, making love to a deer, and bathing in cheese. They remind me to ask questions when I’m unsure, rather than pretend to know everything. And they remind me to say I love you, so I don’t have another friend leave this Earth early without hearing it.
I’m going to take pictures of myself smiling when I’m happy. I’m going to post words of advice from people I respect. And I’m going to tweet sexual innuendos because I think I’m occasionally funny. These accounts are for me, not you.