‘The Dark side of Social Media’: Exploring the Unrealistic Standards set by Instagram, Facebook & more

The constant stream of filtered and curated content showing a "perfect" life, can lead to unrealistic expectations and negative impacts on mental health.

Youth Extra Lens Social-Media

In today’s digital world, social media has taken the world by storm. From adolescents to young adults to fully-grown individuals, everyone is making the most of social media platforms.


As soon there’s something on the “gram” that’s trending and brag-worthy which can blow up in the market, everyone goes out of their way to get that particular product, even when it might not be an item or a gadget that is necessarily required by the person.


We can say that social media has set some unrealistic expectations about life. There are people who love to show their lives off. They be posting everything, which includes: going out to watch a movie, dining at fancy restaurant, travel diaries, promotions at work, etc. In a nutshell, everyone loves to show that they’re winning at life. Very few are posting about their failures.


As a consequence of this, those who follow these people and watch them on a regular basis, start to question their own lives. They start to think about why is their life not as “happening” and fruitful, as others’ is. The aesthetics of one’s life make someone else doubt their own self-worth.


Should we be fooled by the oh-so-charming life that everyone is putting up on their gram?

Well, there are people who in reality aren’t as content as they display themselves to be. You might be looking at someone’s story and think about how big they’ve made in life whilst they might be crying themselves to bed every night with insecurities of their own.


There are also people who impersonate personas to be someone else. One such case has been presented in Netflix's true-crime series “Inventing Anna”, which premiered in 2022.


The series starred Julia Garner who portrayed the character of a fraudster named Anna Sorokin. It shows how Anna posed as an affluent German inheritress named Anna Delvey, living in N.Y.C.


Apart from swindling copius amounts of social butterflies, she also managed to scam many well-known hotels and banks in the course of her stay in The New York City. She gradually wormed her way into the exclusive circle of the city’s significant socialites. She made use of false credit and debit cards, along with numerous fake bank statements to create an illusion of abundance. During her prosecution, it was estimated that she stole around $275,000.


Why do people build a fake life around social media?

People may build a fake life around social media for a variety of reasons. Some do that in order to seek attention and validation, which they lack in real life. Some use it as a means of escape while others use it as a coping mechanism to deal with their insecurities. While, some love impressing people by showing-off their perfect life, career and relationship.


Crying about how much your life sucks will always be easier than taking charge of it and working on your flaws in order to succeed and build the life that you’ve always dreamt of. But, one should accept the fact that nobody is perfect. One should strive hard in order to achieve their goals and stop comparing their life with others’. Setting short-term goals and then slowly working your way towards bigger ones will eventually lead to success.