By: Chaunte McClure
As soon as you read the title, I’m sure you had a flashback to your childhood. Or, if you’re a mom, you might have thought about the times you sang the familiar song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” to your little ones. Regardless of which thought you had, one thing’s for sure: Now the song is on repeat in your mind. Go ahead and admit that you paused between the first two sentences to sing it out loud. It’s okay! If you’re happy and you know it sing the song! Now your face is really showing it because there is something about that song that makes you happy.
There’s a similar effect when I hear Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” My head begins bobbing, my right foot starts tapping, and if I’m driving, my right hand leaves the steering wheel and lands on my left thigh to repeatedly move to the beat of the sound. Why? Because no matter what mood I was in prior to the song coming on, at that moment, I’m happy. Or am I?
I used to ask that to myself in regards to others. Are they really as happy as they portray on social media? I don’t even ask anymore because it really isn’t my business, but I think I can easily discern that people can put a lot of time and energy into pretending to be happy.
I’m all for sharing positive stories and I believe we need more of it. But when our “positive” stories are lies, they can have a negative effect on the reader and the writer. It has to be draining to live a lie, and just like it drains pretenders to report false emotions and exaggerated stories, it’s equally draining to read them.
At some point, everyone has issues. Let me use myself as an example. It might seem crazy what I’m about to say: Yes, I have issues. No, I most likely won’t share my issues on social media, but I will share inspirational posts and, every now and then, what I think is a good photo.
Here’s where you or someone you know comes in … (I have no knowledge of this ever happening to me, by the way.) Because you see my positive posts or my photos that show me having fun or maybe just looking good, now you have to make your life seem a little better than mine by posting what you think is better than how you see my life online.
Social media façades! There are so many people with great jobs, great families, great social lives, great businesses, great opportunities, and great success – well at least that’s their life in the virtual world.
Be yourself, stop competing with others who might be pretending too, and if you have issues, deal with them and heal from them instead of acting like you’re so happy. It’s okay to just scroll. You don’t have to post what’s (not) going on in your life. Fake happiness is the worst sadness.
P.S. One of my Facebook friends, who always shares messages that uplift, educate and empower, inspired this post. Earlier this week she shared this quote: “Fake happiness is the worst sadness.” And thus my two cents that you just read. My opinions. My observations.