We all criticise social media for portraying a perfect life. But photos have long been an important part of family life, from the embarrassing childhood snaps to loved one lost long ago. Memories form our view of ourselves and our life, is it so bad to shape our memory?
It can be hard watching others people’s perfect lives through social media: Perfect lighting on perfect bodies whilst eating gourmet food on luxury holidays. It will not be an exact reflection of true life and we know that really, but in moments of insecurity we can doubt that and compare ourselves. This is often spoken about and social media is portrayed as having a very negative impact on mental health.
There is another side to social media; there is the supportive side, peer groups, online advice and care etc. But also the side for those using social media not just as a way to communicate, but also a method of journaling or recording our lives. My favourite form of social media is Instagram.
I use Instagram more often than anything else. Not to share with others, my page is not public and I don’t have many ‘followers’, but for me and my memories. I often look through my curated photos when I need to smile. I am fully aware that the photo of the smiling happy children is a moment in time and 5 minutes later there was a screaming tantrum, but often I choose to save the smiling memory. Our perceptions are so important, it is easily seen when 2 people label the same day differently; a lovely day with a couple of difficult moments, or a bad day with a couple of lovely moments. This reflection can mean the difference between feeling happy or low, feeling exasperated or grateful. It can been seen as a trick for sure, but isn’t our entire life one great trick ?