Shiny, happy, fake people

Mickey Mellen
2 min readJul 16, 2021

We all know it’s true, but we all do it anyhow. We know that people only show their best side on social media, yet we compare our own lives, and our messiness, to the perfectly curated feeds from others.

In the book “ Back to Human “, author Dan Schawbel points to a study from a few years ago that makes the connection clear:

University of Houston research from 2015 found that the more active someone was on Facebook, the more likely they were to be depressed. According to the author, that may be because they compare themselves to the curated, shiny and impossible versions of their friends’ lives put on display.

The solution is right in front of you. “ The more active someone was on Facebook… “ is the problem, and since the study was done six years ago, I think it’s safe to add things like “Instagram” and “TikTok” to the list. The more time you spend on those, the worse you’ll feel.

That’s not to say you should avoid social media entirely (though that’s not necessarily a bad option), but just watch your time on there. The deeper you go, the more “perfect lives” you’ll see, and the worse things could get for you. Social media gets worse when you consider the filter bubble and how you slowly begin to see posts from only one side of any issue.

Keep in mind that virtually every picture you see on social media has been perfectly tweaked to make the poster look as good as possible, so don’t try to compare your mess to someone else’s fake perfection.

Originally published at on July 16, 2021.



Mickey Mellen

I’m a cofounder of @GreenMellen, and I’m into WordPress, blogging and seo. Love my two girls, gadgets, Google Earth, and I try to run when I can.