‘Facebook isn’t the real world!’
We all know that feeling of looking at a friend’s Facebook photos and seeing them enjoy an amazing holiday/night out etc, so I understood when a new study revealed that “perfect family posts” on social media fuel anxiety. If life isn’t going well for you, and you’re suffering with insecurities, it might seem like they are rubbing their good times in your face. The study also said that as many as half of parents polled think that social media channels like Instagram and Facebook create unrealistic and unattainable expectations of family life, which can trigger depression. I’m convinced it’s going to get worse and escalate.
But these posts are so often not the “real world”, and it’s worrying that people take it so seriously. We have to understand the fact that nobody is leading the “perfect” life, and who is going to post a picture when they look tired, miserable or having a family argument? I only joined Facebook a few years ago in 2010, when I was filming Dinner Party Wars in Canada. It was an easy way of letting my friends know what I was up to, plus I do like to nose around everyone else’s photos. I am on Instagram, too, as part of my work life; it’s part of the deal nowadays. But I am careful and, generally, my Instagram is full of work stuff like red carpet appearances and interviews.
I have a healthy, cynical perspective on it after being in the business for 34 years. But if people feel social media is affecting their mental health, they need to simply turn away from their screens.