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7 Little Things We All Lie About on Social Media

posted: 07/09/15
by: Mara Betsch

About one out of every four Facebook users lies on their profile, according to a 2012 Consumer Reports investigation. Though that particular report stated that most did it to protect their identity and safety, I think we've all been guilty of saying "yeah, righ!" while reading a friend or follower's humble brag. Like when our good friend from high school claims her baby is so, so smart (for the fourth time this week) or when our ex-boyfriend posts gorgeous pictures of his latest perfect European vacation. But as much as we detest these annoying social media behaviors, we're probably guilty of them, too. I think it's safe to say we've all fibbed, or at least lied by omission, on our social media accounts to make ourselves look better. Here are the most common Facebook (and Twitter and Instagram) falsehoods:

1. How we look

Who hasn't untagged an unflattering photo of themselves or uploaded that photo of you with professional hair and makeup to every possible social media outlet? As humans, we're vain, and why would be post a "real" picture when there's a way more flattering option? This is fine if you're just posting them to your own Facebook profile, but if you're putting only your most flattering photos on your dating profile, you may be setting up your date for an awkward first encounter.

2. How much fun we're having

You may be the only single person at a party filled with insufferable newlyweds who can't help but talk about how great is it to be married, but this roof party looks like it could be fun, so you snap a pic and caption it "best night ever!" even though you left at 10 pm. The same goes for vacations. It may have rained four out of the five days you were in Mexico, but snapping a sunset pic on your last night makes it seem like you were catching rays and totally not thinking about how you'd rather had a staycation and saved thousands of dollars.

3. Our relationship statuses

Whether you're not quite ready to claim that the guy you've been seeing for four months is your boyfriend or are posting super cute photos of you and your significant other even though you know you're heading for a break up, this is one of the most common fibs we tell our friends and followers (and ourselves). It can go the other way, as well. We might snag a photo with the guy or girl we wish we were dating, letting all our Facebook friends assume we're together.

4. Our age

After hitting a certain birthday, most people take the year off their birth date on their Facebook profile. And you may be going to your 20th high school reunion, but you better believe you leave that out of your Instagram picture. This can also be a pretty common fib on online dating profiles, especially for older men trying to meet younger women and vice versa.

5. That we're basically the next Top Chef

Nine out of 10 things that come out of your kitchen look like they were made by a ravenous teenager, but when you get it right, you make sure the entire world knows that you can whip up one incredible homemade apple pie. This is harmless, until all your friends invite themselves over to dinner.

6. Our hobbies

If you run once every two months, does that make you a runner? And if the movies you see take place in other countries, does that make you a foreign film aficionado? Let's be honest, if Facebook listed your actual hobbies it would probably be something like this: Work, family, wine, Netflix, obligatory phone calls with your mom, Thai food, thinking about going to the gym, texting your friends, Pinteresting and being perfectly happy with all of the above.

7. That we have our lives totally together

A 2013 study from the University of Michigan found that the more people used Facebook over a two-week span, the more their life satisfaction declined. As we've outlined above, often people project their best lives on social media -- the awesome vacation they take, the great friends they have, the most flattering photos. We don't always post about the horrible work project we're working on or when our child won't stop crying between the hours of 1 and 4 am. Instead, we show of our awesome DIY project that took all day to create and fail to mention how we blew off plans with friends and didn't change out of our pajamas until 4 pm. So just remember, most people's real lives are much messier and more chaotic than the ones they present on social media.