The past month has taught me some very hard lessons, not least of all to be more mindful in what I post online. Social media is a double edged sword. Sure it allows you to keep in touch, share, offload and let others know that you are thinking about them, but all too often people’s lives appear to be somehow perfect and images and videos can hide a darker truth.
When I posted about the end of a relationship on Facebook recently I received so many messages of love and support and I was naturally touched when Emily, a friend I used to work with, offered me refuge and girl therapy at her home for the weekend.
I never took the offer up. Instead I ended up spending days shut away inside crying, asking why this was happening to me and not knowing where to turn as anybody who has been through any form of heartache will relate to. Emily, if I am honest, slipped my mind. I was utterly bereft and forgot that there was a world in existence beyond my front door.
That was until another friend came down to London to join me as she was going through an equally hard time herself and I finally managed to leave the tissues behind on the coffee table. Two days of alcohol, partying into the early hours and pouring my heart out to any strangers that would listen later, my Facebook wall was full of post after post of images of the two of us laughing, joking, singing and smiling with groups of strangers and in front of an array of London landmarks. It literally looked like we were having a ball – inside we were crumbling.
No wonder then that Emily blocked me. She told a mutual friend that she felt like she had been dropped for somebody better and despite my attempts to reach out she never responded.
Perhaps we all need to be more mindful in terms of what we post online and also remember that sometimes, what appears on the surface is far from what is going on underneath. Plates of sumptuous food, holidays on golden sands and manicured selfies are not necessarily indicative of the perfect life. The messages we put out may create an illusion of joy and revelry when we’re feeling anything but.
For my part, I hope that Emily will come round in time and will understand that I wasn’t in a great place despite my myriad of images and videos that suggested otherwise.
Be mindful on social media in both your personal and business posts and remember – behind every perfect image is a human being with real feelings and real problems. By reaching the real person behind the image, your message will resonate.