Posted by: ggordonliddy | October 12, 2015

Mediating Our Realities

The anecdote of the parade from two different views in the beginning of chapter 3 of Mediating the Message was one that I think a lot of us can relate to in some degree or another. For those viewing the parade at home, it was a completely joyous occasional, but for those in attendance it was a tedious, uneventful time with only a fleeting moment of interest.

My friends and I will often joke (typically on particularly boring stretches) that if we added the one or two slightly interesting points of the day for Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, added a few pictures of some food and got some likes, it’d look like we had the best day ever. While these highlights might look like they portray a fun-filled day full of exciting activities, the reality is they only represent about one of the 24 hours to be had.

Obviously, we want to put the best version of ourselves out there for everyone to see, and probably nobody would show any interest if our posts and updates where about sitting on the couch all day. However, this “best version” seems to invoke depression in the lives of others. Like the textbook likened horror movies/bad news and the coordinating fear response in our amygdalae, mediating our social media realities can lead to feelings of inadequacy, envy and sadness.

This video, while showing an extreme, highlights these thoughts:

It’s important to remember that perception isn’t always the way it really is, especially living in a society where mediated realities can be found not just in social media, but the news as well.


  1. Thanks for sharing that video- it certainly puts things in perspective. I have to remind myself on occasion that social media can create a sense of isolation when you allow it to. The final moment when the character was unfollowed wasn’t something I’d considered before- we curate our own social media feeds, only seeing the best moments of our family/friends/acquaintances. This selective optioning only exacerbates the sense of isolation.

  2. Haha, that video is perfect! Especially the “hide all posts from…” part. I’ve been guilty of doing that to people on downward spirals, especially when the evidence from the previous three months of postings perfectly illustrate how they found themselves at rock bottom.

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