In my journalism classes, my professors have emphasized the importance of not taking everything at face value. In this piece, I talk about how social media skews our perceptions on the qualities of others’ lives.


Think about all of the recent Facebook statuses and Instagram photos your friends have posted. Their statuses might be about their great relationships, new houses, or awesome jobs. They might have photos of themselves glowing from the “perfection” of these aspects.

But what’s beneath the surface? What is all of this “perfection” hiding?

Having personally experienced much envy from others’ Facebook statuses and Instagram photos, I’ve been wondering… How do I know that all of this is the truth? How do I know that everyone’s “really” happy?

Photos show what people want them to show. People share stories and omit the negative parts (the stress, arguments, failures that they had to face before they could find success). It’s SO EASY to assume that what we see is what really “is”…because we see it so much. AND it’s what we want to see because it gives us hope and inspiration.

But what do we do on social media? Are we always honest? Do our photos and status updates share the whole truth to our victories and celebrations? Or is there something deeper (something not-so-happy) under the surface?

To figure out what’s under the surface of our own stories, we need to think about what we say to our friends and what thoughts keep us up at night. These truths tell us what really goes on in our hearts and minds. What’s under the surface of our stories can be similar to that of others.