With South Africa’s tax season underway and SARS’ auto-assessments being sent out, the tax revenue service has warned of scams targeting eFiling users. SARS…
Social media is real.
It feels strange to have to say it so often, but social media is real life. Everything we hate about it, everything we love: it’s all curated by human beings. And we’re real. And what we do and make and see is real.
This idea of a “real life” separate from what happens online — the fact that IRL is a popular acronym — is dangerous it doesn’t allow us to properly address or analyse the way people use it.
“He’s not like that in real life,” people say of Rob Kardashian after posting revenge porn to social media.
“He’s not like that in real life,” people say of the teenage boy posting racist vitriol to Twitter.
“She’s not like that in real life,” people say of the girl sending death threats to popstars.
Conversely, they say it about people whose online presence is consistently positive.
They say it of the girl with the flat stomach who never leaves the beach; they say it of the couple who post about their partner daily; they say it of the person who seemingly hits success after success.
All of this is real, because it is representing a side of the person who posts.
Rob Kardashian gets angry, he rants, he likes power. He did it in 2012 to Rita Ora, and again five years later to the mother of his child. Rob Kardashian lashes out on social media: that is part of his real life.
It feels strange to have to say it so often, but social media is real life
The racist boy finds pleasure in it, the poster of death threats the same. While they may not be outwardly violent when interacting face-to-face, there is a part of them that enjoys this behaviour: it is part of their real life.
The girl with the flat stomach who never leaves the beach wants you to believe her life is perfect. There is a part of her that enjoys control of her image, and the validation it brings. It is part of her real life.
The couple posting daily are struggling. They find validation from others when they post, it helps them miss each other less, it helps them pretend they’re fine. Or they just are that stupidly in love.
It is part of their real life.
All you need do is look closely at how your loved ones use social media. In everything they put out, you can see their passions, their fears, their insecurities.
It may not represent the entire truth of the matter, but it represents them and what they want and need at that time.
Sometimes I post to Instagram because I want to see my likes go up. Sometimes I post to Instagram because I want to be called pretty, or I want my relationship to be admired.
Sometimes I post to Instagram because I just want a specific moment easily accessible in the future.
Everything I post is real, because I’m real.
Social media is real life. It’s not realistic, and it doesn’t need to be.
It is a representation of the inner workings of our mind: and for that, it is utterly, heartbreakingly real.