Faking a perfect life on FACEBOOK


These days, everyone seems to be bragging about their lives on social media, especially on Facebook.

The rise of social media and the ‘humble brag’ has been cited in recent studies as a contributing factor to the increased pressure people, old and young, feel to live a perfect life and have the perfect body and face – on Facebook!

Embellishing the truth to impress friends on sites like Facebook may implant false memories, psychologists have also warned.

A fifth of young people admit their online profile bears little resemblance to reality, and that their recollection of past events has been distorted by their own fabrications.

Well, over here, that’s nothing new, and even known personalities are said to be fabricating certain happenings – on Facebook, of course.

At the drop of a hat, they create stories that many find hard to believe.

They brag about happenings that have never ever taken place – a figment of their imagination.

One even said that he had received an informal letter from Donald Trump.

I’ve also noticed FB folks giving their photos plastic surgery, via Photoshop - the fastest and cheapest way to look better than what they do, in real life. They then wait impatiently for the ‘like’ button to be hit a number of times, by their FB pals, adoring their new, artificial Facebook Photoshop face.

Young adults, aged between 18 and 24, say they frequently lie about their relationships, promotions at work, and holidays, on social media.

Research has suggested that social networks are damaging to autobiographical memory.

Psychologist Dr Richard Sherry, a founding member of the Society for Neuropsychoanalysis, said that it could also lead to feelings of shame and worthlessness.

"Being competitive and wanting to put our best face forward - seeking support or empathy from our peers - is entirely understandable," said Dr Sherry.

"However, the dark side of this social conformity is when we deeply lose ourselves or negate what authentically and compassionately feels to be ‘us’; to the degree that we no longer recognise the experience, our voice, the memory or even the view of ourselves.

"When this starts to happen, feelings of guilt and distaste towards ourselves can create a cognitive trap of alienation and possibly even a sense of disconnection and paranoia."

Dr Sherry said that social media had the power to ‘undermine the coherence between our real, lived lives and memories.’

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