Why do people fake happiness on social media

by Mihail Angelov
4 mins read
fake happiness on social media

How often have you seen “happy-looking” photos by persons on Instagram having the “perfect and joyful” life we all dream about? Too many, I know.

Fake happiness is a term used to describe when someone posts content on social media that does not represent their true feelings. The idea is that the person’s happiness may be fake or superficial because they try to make others feel better about themselves.

There’s no need to hide your real-life unhappiness on social media. Social media is only one aspect of your life.

Difference between real life and social media life

Real-life is not always as easy as it appears on social media. People are more serious about social media, which can lead to judgemental attitudes. Social media websites are a place where people can feel validated by the likes and shares they get.

There are some differences between real life and online life. The most significant difference is that real life is less forgiving of mistakes due to being judged. In contrast, in social media, people are more likely to give you another chance because of the anonymity of the internet.

You will never know what you will find on social media without scrolling through it first. It’s an endless pit of entertainment and information with no end in sight.

And this is why many of us use social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc., to share our daily activities with friends and family members.

It is crucial to distinguish the difference between real friends and social media friends

How does social media negatively impact people?

Social media has become one of the essential parts of modern society. We all have at least one account for each social media platform we use: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Reddit…the list goes on!

The problem arises when these social platforms start influencing how we live our lives. For example, if someone wants to lose weight or gain muscle mass, they may post pictures of eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.

Heavy social media use creates envy and low self-esteem, which is related to the experience of not being able to bear not getting what they want. They often fall into something called a comparison trap.

This, on the other hand, can cause serious mental health and life issues for the person. It’s proven that obsessive social media usage and the increased interaction with the technology is resulting in anxiety, decreased self-confidence, and depression.

We often forget what truly matters in life and try to look fabulous on social platforms. We are looking up to celebrities, famous influencers and we want to mirror that online identity, to make us an “ideal” online person.

This is the fastest medium in the last 100 years and instead of using it for positive purposes, it took an opposite direction for the people, especially teenagers.

Why do people fake happiness on social media

Why do we need social approval? It seems that the popularity here is shedding a positive light on our mood. We enjoy receiving positive feedback of any kind, especially publicly and online.

Of course, social media users will enjoy a temporary boost in happiness when the likes, shares, or positive comments on social media posts are increasing. But is this actual happiness?

We are surrounded 24/7 by the content placed by social media influencers. The person behind that profile is sharing pictures of their luxury cars, meals with friends, fit body, and somehow this is stored in our subconscious.

The next thing we know, we want a photo with that same car, although we cannot afford it, a picture in that “socially” approved invitation-only place, and we are ashamed that our body is not ideally fit.

We want to be a part of that group of people with “perfect lives” shared on social media.

But does faking happiness on social media really help? No. The perfectly captured picture and the number of likes will not make our lives better. People are trying to hide their weaknesses behind happy photos, luxury items, and traveling. The saddest thing is that they’re spending most of their time on that trip, choosing and editing images for social media. No significant memories, only full photo albums.

In a few words, these are the reasons why people fake happiness on social media:

  • Afraid of being a failure
  • Desperation for more likes
  • FOMO – Fear of missing out
  • Insecure about their partners and friends
  • Falling into a comparison trap
selfie, smartphone, social media

It is okay not to share every good moment on social media

We forgot that social media is not a competition and it’s not mandatory to share every experience, vacation, meal, or life event to be placed for public approval measured through likes.

Truly happy people don’t share every good moment on social media, and they don’t feel the need of being accepted by the majority.

In the past year, even social media influencers have joined the positive movements of normalizing the energy and posting habits on these platforms.

We can see new trending hashtags like #BodyPositivity, #SocialMediaIsFake, #AntiBulling, etc., supported by the most powerful social media celebrities.

Hopefully, this positive trend will continue.

Spend your time elsewhere

You can reduce your screen time and spend more time in-person interactions with your friends and family. You can start to train this habit by setting a daily limit for application use or leaving your phone at home when you go out with your friends.

Instead of taking a million photos from your meal, you can enjoy your meal and be present in the conversation. You can always see the content shared by your favorite influencer later. But you cannot return the missed moments with your closest.

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