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Photo: Abstraction winter wood a collage Credit: Belovodchenko Anton

Recently, I’ve seen many studies explaining how Facebook is making people (especially teens) more depressed.  The studies theorize that when we scroll through our newsfeed and see all of our friends’ smiling photos, nausea-inducing “My husband’s so perfect” status updates and check-ins to the coolest clubs and restaurants, we assume that there’s something missing in our lives.

In all actuality Facebook is just our lives edited.  Some of us are skillful about it. Others not so much.

The vast majority of people’s lives is pretty boring

Think about it:  just like a reality show the raw footage of our lives is pretty mundane.  We get up, go to work, come home, and go to sleep.

There are the people who post every moment of their existence to Facebook…yawn…but most of us are editors, crafting our Facebook pages into what our vision of our life should be.  I call it “Kardashian editing”.

Why am I picking on the Kardashians?  Unlike most other reality stars their mom, Kris Jenner, is one of the executive producers of their reality shows. This means she has final say over what’s used and not used from the hundreds of hours of raw footage.  By having that power she can make her family look like the innocent victims, the heroes, remove unflattering angles….the list goes on.  So in reality, their reality, isn’t really reality.

In reality is our “reality” really reality?

When we “Kardashian edit” our lives, we only upload or tag the photos we look smoking hot in, only publicize our check-ins when we’re somewhere enviable, and spend tons of time crafting the perfect status update.  Just like the Kardashians cut and edit their reality show to make themselves appear in the best light possible, we do the same to our lives in Facebook. The ones who take it to the extreme, are typically the ones who make us feel like our lives suck.

So next time you’re on Facebook and see your friend’s seemingly perfect photos, remember that for every one sexy duck lip photo, there were probably ten others that didn’t make the cut.  And those flowers your best friend’s boyfriend just bought?  She probably didn’t mention she got them because they had the argument of all arguments the day before.

In the end, our reality is what we want it to be.

What do you think?  How accurately do people portray themselves on Facebook?  Is selective editing a positive thing?

 

The post, “Are You Guilty of “Kardashian Editing” Your Facebook Page?” by Ashley Deas was originally published on the Digital Marketing Girl site.

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Ashley Deas
Formerly, a geek in denial; presently, the Digital Marketing Manager at @BlueHornetEmail. Addicted to analytics, social media, Zelda & martinis.
Ashley Deas
Ashley Deas
Ashley Deas

Latest posts by Ashley Deas (see all)

Hillerie Camille

You are so right! I love your perspective on this. I know I’ve “Kardashian Edited” particular posts and pictures. I can’t put ugly photos on FB where my HS people can see them. The funny thing is, right this minute, I’m watching Kim and Kourtney take Miami. & this week I put a post on FB and G+ about my “Good Ass Husband.” LMAO—I’m busted.

January 25, 2013, 1:21 AM

Great post that I think has a lot of truth. I think if we are honest we all do this a little bit. I had a complete organisational catastrophe just this morning and missed a train.Normally I would check in on Foursquare – say what I’m doing and where I’m going – but I “edited it out”! Like it

January 25, 2013, 4:59 AM
Aja_7

Everyone sees “reality” through their own paradigm. Whether, the person feels
accepted or rejected. Whatever the inner sentiment, govern all our actions. I
recommend taking a minute and review your thoughts and your emotions before you
interact with others. It helps to remove yourself or delay a post if, you have
that “yucky” feeling. Especially, if you want a “yummy” post. ♥ Agape

January 25, 2013, 7:12 AM

I’m glad you like my perspective. And it’s funny you say that, because one of the reasons I wrote this article was because I found myself “Kardashian Editing” my own Facebook page. Checking in to the newest, trendiest Italian restaurant in San Diego, but you would never catch me checking into the Olive Garden. Posting how I have the best friends in the world, but not posting that one of us had a falling out.

We’re only human and because the majority of us aren’t on TV, we can’t edit our daily lives. So sure it makes since we’d take advantage of what we do have control over. But the problem comes in when people start judging their “lack of a life” because they don’t realize that all of us are life editors when it comes to social media.

January 25, 2013, 7:29 PM

Definitely. After I originally wrote this article, I started giving my give my Facebook posts a litmus test. I ask myself, “How will I feel about this post if it doesn’t get any likes or comments?”
It sounds silly, but think about it, if you’re posting something just for the attention, it’s probably not worth posting.

January 25, 2013, 7:40 PM

Yep. We all totally do it. Although some people edit their lives in a “woe is me” way. Vague status updates like “My life is a wreck” and “I’m moving on, with or without you.”
Haven’t thought of a good analogy for those people yet, though. :)

January 25, 2013, 7:49 PM

love this article!! makes you wonder what really is happening. I love people that have no filter, so I don’t mind the daily updates.

January 25, 2013, 8:26 PM

Thanks! I agree, the no filter people can be the most fascinating. Thanks for reading!

January 25, 2013, 9:01 PM

AIll those “My husband is the perfect guy….” “My wife is a saint…” “My kids are the sweetest.” Nothing but distorted reality. For the first time, we’re publicly allowed to tell our own stories and of course, that story is oh, so beautiful and sweet. It’s funny because Mark Zuckerberg is always saying how we should be ourselves online. That there shouldn’t be a duality going on, that his pursuit of the ultimate “social graph,” ends in, one big naked vat of openness that everyone in the world enjoys. Yet privacy policies, or lack thereof, have forced most people to edit their lives based upon other’s perceptions so that a tool that was designed to allow people to show their lives is now just really a tool to distort our lives. Only when people start posting their real weight will we be free from this anti-reality, reality prison.

January 28, 2013, 6:22 PM

Thanks for reading and those are such great points. We’re moving away from what Facebook was intended to be, and features like Social Graph are rewarding people that have vast impersonal networks. Think about it, Social Graph is only as powerful as the amount of people you have in your network. My network is rather small, and a search for friends of friends in San Francisco will come up pretty short as compared to someone with a large network.

I think what’s truly sad is when people don’t realize that other people are “Kardashian Editing” their lives, and become depressed. My goal of this article was to just put it out there & start an open dialogue about this anti-reality, reality and judging by the response, I hope I have.

January 28, 2013, 11:49 PM
KKB

I am SO going to post the most hideous picture of myself and tell everyone how I almost passed out at Zumba because I’ve skipped class for 3 months. Ha! You are absolutely correct that we do this. I do have one friend who shares the foibles/frets of motherhood and she is so hilarious that everyone pays attention to her crazy stories lamenting all things gross about having a 5 and 3 year old boy.

January 29, 2013, 12:27 AM

Thanks for you comment, fellow Zumba goer!

Yep, it’s embarassing to come to that realization that we all do it. I,myself, went back and looked at some of my old posts and I was mortified how they came across.
Thanks again, and tell your friend to start a blog!!

January 29, 2013, 9:06 PM

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