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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Saturday, November 04, 2017

entry arrow12:07 AM | Curated Lives

I remember about six years ago I was looking at my own Facebook timeline, and an odd thought came to me: "I wish I had that life for real." It came unbidden, and I had to laugh -- but it revealed something about social media I think everyone knows at a fundamental level but cannot seem to grasp fully. All our posts are curated: we cherrypick our lives to create a narrative we want the world to believe about ourselves. IT IS NOT BAD, but it's also not good if we come to compare our days with the curated posts of our online friends. They aren't always at the beach. They aren't always chasing beautiful sunsets. They aren't always having dinners with fabulous friends. They aren't always gazing romantically at their beloved's eyes. You don't see the long and frustrating commute alone, or the rainy days, or the betrayals of an old friend, or the vicious fight with the significant other. [The ones who air their dirty laundry online is another story.] 

Realizing this does bring a measure of relief, no? But it's a realization that's hard to sustain. We have been culturally programmed to think of photos as being truthful, and immediate. And so even though we know they are curated, seeing the visual representations of friends' social media selves make the old pangs of rabid comparison rise up again. That adventurous trip through Argentina, those beautiful flexed biceps from gym workouts, that fun Broadway show -- why am I here browsing Facebook in my pajamas in a bedroom that needs cleaning now?

Why am I writing this, at midnight? I'm really not sure, hahaha.

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