Misrepresentation in Online Personas

Credit: Jeff Bullas
Credit: Jeff Bullas

As you coast through your Facebook timeline, does it not seem that your “friends” are living a fabulous life? Do you ever feel a smidgen of discontent? Not even when you see the occasional notification that someone has gotten engaged or married? Or maybe it’s not personal relationships, but business successes that drive you a little crazy on the inside with each one you see? All the fun people seem to have on the weekends and holidays. Pictures of people on vacations, in restaurants [insert whatever gets you here].

Pardon the pun, but I don’t feed into it. It’s easy to marvel at the amazing lives your friends seem to lead, but everything is not always what it seems… especially when you consider how people selectively self-represent online. They aren’t sharing their real lives–they are sharing the life that they want to project. It’s easy to misrepresent yourself by only sharing things that frame you in a certain light, and omitting others. Everyone has their own TMI level (that is, oversharing), and for some it’s higher than others.

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