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Pressure for “perfection” on social media

Posted at 8:50 AM, Nov 20, 2017

Do you ever lie on your social media posts?

Research shows 68% of people embellish, exaggerate or outright lie on social media. There are many reasons, but most point back to the pressure of living up to a certain lifestyle.

A lot of moms feel the pressure to be perfect, especially on social media. So people crop and edit their pictures to hide a messy house or post  only the "perfect" family vacation pictures. Dr. Jared Skillings, Chief of Psychology at Spectrum Health,  says it's called the "halo effect".

"When people look like they are better looking and have it all together, people perceive them as favorable and as a smarter more moral person," Skillings said.

He explains that social media lets people to escape from the tough things in life. People are longing to see interesting, pretty and fun things that make them feel better. He also says people are more fragile these days. "Their body images are fragile, they way they view themselves is fragile. This is not 'The Little House on the Prairie' days."

It's easy to get caught up in a perception of perfection after a scroll through your feed.

Dr. Skillings explains it like this: "The apps these days give people the ability to do what Hollywood and magazines have been doing for 40 years and look more fake. The trouble is that's not who you are. If you post pictures that are not real you do two things. One, it not only portrays a fake image to everyone else. It also limits your ability to be aware of yourself."

In turn, it creates a false reality and distorted image of our actual lives.

That doesn't mean you have to show all the ugly stuff of life, Skillings says, but it's important to focus on being genuine.