The first time I fell in love, it was the most beautiful thing. On a constant high, I walked around smiling to myself. Add the spring in my steps and I could’ve easily been a butterfly.
“You are glowing!” a friend once exclaimed. This same friend would later gape at me in disbelief when I tried to convince her that it was over. “But it was perfect!”, she’d said, looking honestly perplexed.
That day I realised how easily people fall for the illusion that is perfection. Sure, I was as deliriously happy as a girl who was all loved up could be. But the perfect relationship? Who’d have thunk it?
(Un)fortunately, this post isn’t about my love life. It’s about that illusion that’s become a brainwashing tool on social media.
Yesterday, on my favourite doctor’s wall, a man dropped a comment listing what he called a woman’s “natural assets”; sexy, sultry eyes, luscious lips, a straight and pointed nose, an earth-shattering smile, standing-fan breasts, hour-glass body, straight, spotless, long-from-here-to-Maiduguri pair of legs, tapered, smooth, vein-free hands, and the butt that keeps giving long after she’s gone…
Before I finished reading the comment, I found myself thinking; “Well, my eyes are out of the question. So is my poor button nose. Smile not wide enough to shatter anything but, check. Luscious lips, check. Er..Maiduguri legs tho?”
That was where the ridiculousness of what I was reading brought me back to the present. I laughed long and hard but, that brief, unsure moment had happened. Happens, even to the best of us.
Social media people and our pretty words and ideals. Pretty girls with flawless skin, arms around their prefect boyfriends.
Perfect children sharing perfect photos and stories about their perfect families. Perfect cliques with their perfectly synchronized banter. Popular intellectuals with their perfect discourses and neat lives.
Dear wide-eyed newbies and ‘learners’, wondering how these perfect Facebook people were created, careful. Careful the words and lifestyles you allow reel you in.
A seemingly perfect relationship may come to an end but the gloss of social media never fades. Careful.
Beneath that gloss are 5-star editing apps, dysfunctional families, pretty girls stuck with abusive hunks and smart people who lift their arguments from Google webpages.
Take a break when you feel overwhelmed. Or, walk away. Either way, this virtual space can deal you some very real punches.