Of Lies & Curated Lives

I was recently listening to an interview about how social media makes us feel bad. In that interview, I learned a new term – “curating” our lives.

Curating means to manage how our lives look, and it’s especially common on social media. What most portray on Facebook et. al. is not a true representation of their life. What we see is carefully selected bits that make the person’s life look better than it is and makes them seem happier than they are. At best it’s dishonesty by omission, and sometimes what’s being shared is less than true.

Of course, this is nothing new, and Christians have been very good at it for a very long time. We go to church and hide our problems and fears. When someone asks how we are we lie and say we’re fine even though we’re far from it. 

The problem is we tend to look at others and assume they’re giving us an honest look at their reality. We compare their curated life with our real life, and we lose. We do this with everyone around us, and we can start to think our life is far worse than our friend’s lives. This leads to despair and depression, which can, in turn, cause us to give up on trying to deal with our problems.

The truth is everyone else is curating their lives just as you are. You don’t see much of their pains, struggles, and failures because they don’t promote those things any more than you promote your bad stuff.

I have three suggestions for you:

  1. Be honest about your life both online and in real life. I’m not talking about doing your dirty laundry in public, but you can be honest without sharing things that should be private.
  2. Assume others are showing you a curated life.
  3. Think carefully about how much time you spend on social media. It can be used for good, but it tends to bring us down if we do too much.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I generally ignore my Facebook feed

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5 Comments on “Of Lies & Curated Lives

  1. Well done. Thank you.
    Stephen Furtick notes the danger of comparison comes when we compare our drab and ordinary to someone else’s highlight reel.

  2. I’d add “live your life to live and not to curate.” Order what tastes good, do activities you enjoy, and don’t just do things for the photo op.

  3. Great post, Paul. I do promote the bad stuff…it is part of my job, trying to write a blog that will help the terminally ill and their caregiving spouses…but there’s still some curating going on.

    What I try to omit is the flippancy with which I typically look at my own deterioration and death; my attitude is “well, it could be worse, I could be slow, soft and ugly” and not even my wife understands that. Letting it out in social media would obviate the message I’m trying to deliver, because most folks would see either posturing, or a real oddball.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 331 – Nice MusicMy Profile

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