It struck me today that social media is becoming just as toxic as fashion and beauty magazines. There is probably a direct correlation between the photo-shopped cover images, and the pretend lives that some people construct through Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and Tumblr.
The scary thing to me at least, is that so many people seem to buy into the false world created by so many – and that those publishing their words and images know exactly who they are targeting, and how to target them.
The “who can piss the highest” family posting their holiday exploits on Facebook are one thing – they’re just showing off. The so-called “lifestyle” bloggers are often a different breed entirely.
I remember reading an expose from a talented journalist several years ago, lifting the lid on the world that existed behind the facade of the world-famous magazines that ruled before the web came along. The magazine publishing industry had a history of hiring unpaid interns to do the majority of the grunt work – the writing, researching, and so on – and the only people that could possibly afford to live and work unpaid in the city were the children of wealthy families. This of course caused the various glamour, fashion, and lifestyle magazines to become increasingly elitist, and incestuous – divorcing themselves from reality.
I can’t help feeling the same world has translated into a lot of the more successful lifestyle blogs. Once you realise the colossal traffic numbers needed to make sensible amounts of money on the internet, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the people photographing their designer clothing hauls, boutique restaurant meals, and exotic city breaks with top of the range digital SLR cameras maybe aren’t supporting themselves.
I’m not blaming them for what they do. They are the millenials after all – famously portrayed as lazy, entitled, and self interested. A video went viral over the Christmas period, where the blame for their stereotypical behaviour, expectations, and lack of real-world prospects was aimed squarely at everybody else. I have a few thoughts about that, but I’ll save them for another day.
Something I have realised though – and this finally comes to the title of the post – is that the old saying “ignorance is bliss” still holds true. The more you ignore the people that might sell you inspirational things, or experiences, the happier you become.
Life isn’t about what you have, or who you are – it’s about what you do, and what you think – both things that cannot be given.