The Illusion of a “Perfect Life” in the Online World & the Pressure to Appear “Perfect” Online // Taking a Weird Break??

No one is perfect.

I know that’s really obvious!! And you’ve probably heard it a thousand times in consoling tones when you make a grievous mistake, or when you’re trying to reassure yourself about other people doing stupid things.

But I feel like there’s often a certain pressure to be perfect, or a perception that we are in the online world, and we forget that we, nor others, are NOT perfect.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for some time now, because of things that I’ve noticed in the behavior of myself and others. And I’ve also noticed some negative effects as well, so that’s why I decided to talk about it today!!!

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I feel like a lot of the time, we have certain people online that we idolize.

I definitely have people that I look up to, whether it be bloggers or reviewers or authors or Youtubers. It may not be even like “I WANT TO BE THEM” and more of “omg they’re so good at what they do”.

And I feel like, when we reach that certain point of “idolization”, we kind of forget that those people… are human?? We built up these versions of them in our mind, and they’re pretty much perfect versions with perfect lives.

Often, that’s because that’s what they let us see!! And it’s not that they want to “appear perfect” (or maybe they do), more like they just don’t want to share the messier parts of their life or who they are. And that’s fine!!! And it’s just as fine if they share those messier parts!*

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me thinking about talking about how messy my life is

But when it starts to go into “wow, they’re perfect at everything, they have a perfect life” territory, I think THAT’S where it gets to the bad effects. Because 1) you kind of project this perception of this person ONTO them (more on that later), and 2) you forget that NO ONE is perfect.

Or!! We think of one person in a very specific way (ie. extremely funny). And we forget that they’re not always like that!!!

I honestly don’t know where I’m going with this, but I think that habitually, we all construct a certain version of a person in our mind when we look up to them, and it’s often a flawless version.

*I am actually very much in awe of these people for being able to talk about the not-so good things in their life, because I suffer from something called insecurity!!! (It’s very fun.)

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Because of others’ “versions” of me, I often feel kind of pressured to appear that way.

And it may not be the same for others?? Maybe you are just super confident in yourself and are able to show both the good, the meh, and the bad parts of you and your life, or the different parts of you that no one really expects. But it’s more likely that you AREN’T, because we’re human and we doubt ourselves.

I feel like others’ perceptions of us really impact how we act or how we express ourselves; it’s like their version of us is subconsciously projected onto us.

For example, I’ve had people tell me I’m funny or hilarious or make them laugh. (To which I say: THANK YOU because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.) So I often feel a bit pressured to be funny and hilarious and make jokes. That’s not a bad thing, to me!! I like making people laugh!!! Humor is so important when we live in a world full of depressing things.

But if I’m NOT funny, I feel bad. It’s like I’m letting people down. For example, in a lot of my discussion posts (such as this one), I take on a more serious tone, and I noticed that in the past, I say “sorry” for that.

But… there’s no reason to?? Being serious is just another side of me that people don’t usually see in my posts, so they don’t expect it from me. It’s just for some reason that I feel bad for that.

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me @ myself constantly

Basically: Because people think of me in a certain way, I feel pressured to always fulfill that expectation, and if I don’t, then I’m doing something wrong.

And it can be extremely harmful to someone to feel like they have to live up to a certain image, therefore not being genuine or “completely themselves”!!! It’s the exact opposite of the advice we give to new bloggers: Be yourself, but be the you that others expect to see.

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I honestly wasn’t planning on taking a break when I thought of this post, but I guess it fits???

Right now, my life really isn’t “perfect”. I’m struggling a lot with my mental health—I have been since the beginning of January, but it got worse last week. (But I’m feeling a bit better now that I’ve been super aware of my thoughts!!) And instead of trying to push through like I did in January, I’ve decided to just take a short break-ish.

It’s honestly not that much of a break?? It’s more like… a random posting schedule for March. No Wednesday- or Saturday-scheduled posts, just posts whenever I’m up to it. I’m hoping this will only last March, but if it needs to carry into April, I’m fine with it. Health ALWAYS comes first, which is what I tell others but not myself!!!

And also, I’m running out of post ideas. How did Past Me do this, I SWEAR.

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I really feel like blogging takes up a lot of my time that I could be using to do relaxing things, and often has some negative effects on me. Taking a step back from it will hopefully help a lot!! Plus the strict blogging schedule used to be helpful but now only adds more pressure and worsens my mental state.

shall we chat

what are your thoughts on this? do you feel like you’re pressured to be “perfect” online?? why? do you get so caught up in how cool some people are that you forget that they aren’t perfect? and how are you doing, lovelies?? remember to take care of yourself!!!

p.s. I feel like this post… doesn’t make a lot of sense??? I tried to make it less ranty and repetitive (if I tried to explain further, I would’ve ended up repeating myself) but bottom line: I feel like we forget that our online “idols” aren’t perfect and that often leads to negative effects, whether we know it or not!!

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109 thoughts on “The Illusion of a “Perfect Life” in the Online World & the Pressure to Appear “Perfect” Online // Taking a Weird Break??

  1. Awww, sorry you’re not feeling too good, May! <3

    what are your thoughts on this?:

    Seriously. We is all perfect already??? I mean, not as in, "Omw, Kell doesn't nothing wrong!" (but I don't, I am perfect, seriously) but as in … our personalities are perfect. Because they are what we were born to be. And there are things about everyone that are just so awesome that no one should feel like they need to be different to be cared about or special or whatever.

    do you feel like you’re pressured to be “perfect” online?? why?:
    Well, a couple days back, I would have said "no, of course not! #strongindependentwoman #dontneednoonesopinionofme" (I probably would have used less hashtags that are long and rambly, tho…) But, y'know, these last couple days, I've been feeling lousy about myself, especially as a blogger/writer. I feel unprofessional, second-rate, not the kind of person anyone would want to know, etc. … and hey, I know I'm not perfect, but then the people who I'm comparing myself to (with their perfect websites and writing and careers and all … okay, I'll stop) aren't perfect … it's hard to see that, though! People are frighteningly good at what they do, especially in the blogging world, and I'm just like, "Actually, I'm making this up as I go …" xD

    But yep. :P I'll get over it, I guess …

    do you get so caught up in how cool some people are that you forget that they aren’t perfect?:
    All the time.

    and how are you doing, lovelies??:
    Pretty loverly! I finally got around to commenting on this blog post. *coughs* It's been a while …


  2. this is such a lovely and thoughtful post <3 I'm sorry to hear that you've been having a hard time, and I totally understand needing to take a break! tbh not having a posting schedule like most bloggers seem to makes me feel kind of inadequate sometimes, but I know that not having one is better for me personally! I have enough stressful deadlines between work and school, and I want blogging to be something that brings me happiness in my spare time. I don't think I really have an online "brand" (mostly bc I'm just all over the place with the content I post), but I feel you on the expectations of other people thing. I hope you can take some time to yourself and feel better, and know that I love all of your content and am always happy to learn more about different parts of your personality that you choose to share <3 <3


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