TORONTO – We are happy to report that your online persona has successfully hidden your crippling depression from your followers across social media. By portraying a heavily curated version of yourself that is smarter, better looking, and more productive than you actually are, you’ve effectively kept anyone from seeing the real you: either the scared, shaking, kid you witness every time in the mirror or the sad, posturing, reflection you offhandedly catch while sauntering past an empty storefront window.
“Cultivating an online persona can be used as a survival tactic for people who experienced feelings of rejection and isolation in early adolescence. It allows them a modicum of control they lacked growing up,” said therapist and mental health expert Bronwyn Tonnes. “Plus if you’re really good at it someone might send you a free backpack or even a mattress. You could even get famous.”
Your daily posts documenting delicious-looking meals, interesting work projects, and numerous “big fits” have kept the broader public from seeing what a struggle it has been just to get out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately, the persona also has you questioning whether the people in your life would actually enjoy your company if they got to know the “real” you. Luckily that isn’t too much of a problem as years of carefully crafting your online life that is so blatantly contradictory to your internal monologue means you no longer have any idea who the real you actually is.
From a fetal position on your bedroom floor, you’ve planned future posts in your social media calendar. You’ve figured out the most flattering angles for your body while mainlining literally any carbs leftover in the house. You’ve playfully alluded to new romantic relationships while listening to Evermore on repeat. You’ve convinced yourself everything you see on other people’s social feeds must be real while you yourself are just pretending.
At press time you have been contemplating being honest with your followers about your internal struggle. But only after you’ve crafted the announcement in a way that is sure to get a lot of likes.