Social Media vs. Social Reality: How to “Like” Your Life

how to like your life

“I just cancelled my Facebook account—it was making me feel too depressed reading everyone else’s posts.  In comparison to them, I feel like such a failure.”

I’m hearing this type of complaint more often these days. The above quote came from a young college student. She is kind, fun, top of her class, passionate about her subject—filmmaking—and has a paid internship doing what she loves. And yet, social media is making her feel inadequate. Why?

I’m not a big advocate for Facebook, but I enjoy connecting and keeping up with people I like and respect. Like most, I don’t have thousands of friends, and this should tell you something.

Actually, no one really does. Social media and social reality are two very different animals. Never forget that.

So, here are a few things I’d like to share:

  • Social media is the one place where you actually edit your life. Your audience gets to see what you want them to see. No one has the perfect life, and thank God for that! It keeps life interesting. Each of us has successes and failures.
  • Think: If all the updates you saw on Facebook were about failure—would you really want that? Now, that would be depressing! (I’m picturing all the prozac and xanax ads and continuous photos of Woody Allen running alongside my feed. Oy!)
  • Success is different for everyone. You define it—not some arbitrary group. For some, it’s living a healthy, long life. For others, it’s having a family or career they love, or owning beautiful (and expensive) things.
  • If people on Facebook are really your friends, then be happy for them. If not, then delete them. Period, amen. Remember—you get to edit your life here too.
  • Use social media as motivation to get what you really want. Stop wasting time browsing on Facebook with your nose pressed up against the glass. Ask your friends how they got where they are and how they can help you. Focus less on what others are doing and more on what you want.
  • Keep a list of what you have in your life and review it and add to it often. Be grateful. I bet there’s more on that list than you give yourself credit for.
  • Perhaps some friends whose lives you want may really want what you have. Remember that saying….the grass is always greener…

Focus your efforts on defining success and pursuing it. That’s the only way you’ll get there. And, don’t stop to edit yourself. That’s the beauty of reality—it’s a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns and successes and failures. So, quit stalling and get on board! That’s what life is really all about.

Now—can I get a thumbs up here, huh??

Copyright 2013 Michelle Kerrigan


  1. Scott


    So true Michelle – good words of wisdom regarding how best to view and ‘filter’ content on social media.

    And I also like – Grass isn’t greener on the other side – it’s greener on the side that you water it!!

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