Perception vs. Reality

In simple terms, perception is how one views the world through ones senses. Perception is associated with the sense of vision – the way we see things. Now, not everyone’s perception of a person or situation is always accurate, because we are unable to always see a person’s backstory or life experiences.

In a generation where everything is seen as “goals” on social media, we perceive the pictures we scroll through as an accurate representation of real life. We see celebrities flaunting a “snatched” body, but don’t see the numerous plastic surgeries they went through to achieve it. We see “couple goals,” yet we don’t see the abusive relationship hidden underneath. Just this week, the topic of owning a Hermes Birkin bag was trending. Come to find out most of these celebrities and influencers are rocking, in the words of Nicki Minaj, “hand-me-down bags.” 

I don’t understand why we don’t look at reality tv and social media just for what it is–entertainment. I would be lying if I said I’ve never been insecure about not having what other people my age flaunted. However, I quickly remind myself that I don’t know what measures it took for them to get there, whether it’s just a front, or anything at all. What I do know is that I will obtain my wants and goals because I want them, not because a stranger on social media has it.

I never thought I could learn life lessons from reality tv, but just recently I had a riveting conversation with a close friend of mine regarding the WE TV show, “Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life.” Throughout the conversation, it had to be drilled into me that this show was not a reality tv show, but a docuseries about Tamar navigating a new chapter in her life.

For those who don’t know, Tamar is seen as an over the top caricature. She is thought to be spoiled, bratty, quick mouthed, and ill-tempered purely based on her TV portrayal. Before this show even aired, I was disinterested because of: the perception I have of Tamar already and the overdramatic trailer released for the show.

Now as we got into a couple of episodes, one scene stuck out to the both of us. As Tamar was working with her dream/life coach, a producer of the show approaches and says that they want her to act out her frustrations in a “break room.” A room where you break everything to let all your anger out and leave feeling relieved. Tamar refuses to do this since she doesn’t want to be perceived as a stereotypical violent, angry, black woman.

Now in this scenario, I completely understand. After editing, they are likely going to show Tamar expressing her frustration and jump cut to her leaving the room and starting to break things, automatically having the viewers label her as rash and angry.

There was a gem in there, I don’t know if you caught it. I’ll give you a minute….

*Let me know down in the comments if you got it!*

We automatically label people by what we see versus what we actually know. We spend so much time on social media wishing we had what others have when you don’t even know the reality of their situation. I have come in to contact with so many influencers who “put on” for social media, but have their mattress still on the floor. They flaunt a stack on the gram but in reality that’s their rent money. I have witnessed influencers post photoshopped pictures of themselves on beaches, claiming they’re in the Dominican Republic when they’re lying in bed! I even had a friend who rented a luxury car, but proclaimed that he bought it on his social media platform.

People please understand that social media is all smoke and mirrors! It is not real life at all. People share what they want to share. People share the happy moments in their life. Never and I mean NEVER will you see someone share something negative about their life UNLESS they are looking for sympathy.

Take everything you see at face value because you never know what’s really going on. Stop judging people because of what you think you know, when you have never met them a day in your life.

Stop placing influencers on pedestals because believe me, they are faking it ‘til they make it. And you’re going to put yourself in debt trying to attain what you think they have.

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