Mind Readings: The Hidden Danger of the Social Media Highlight Reel

We all know the overt danger of social media as the highlight reel of our lives – comparing our whole lives to other people’s highlights and wins. But there’s a hidden danger of the highlight reel that can cause immense harm. Learn what to do about it.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Welcome to mind readings.

So this is an idea that I had, there’s a lot of topics that I keep in my journals and my notes of stuff that doesn’t fit the sort of You ask I answer format, I could make stuff up, right.

I couldn’t say that somebody asked a question that was really not a question.

But that’s no, it is dishonest.

So, mind readings is my version of just general audio blogs, if you will, where there isn’t necessarily a question to be asked, but something that was on my mind.

And this is not going to replace You ask I answer.

If you’ve got questions, please go to Christopher penn.com.

And ask them there.

But this is for stuff that doesn’t fit in that category.

And, yeah, we’ll see what the publication schedule looks like as to which ones go where, but at the very least, it’s stuff that I want to get out of my head and into your inbox in some fashion, maybe it’s helpful, maybe it’s not.

So with that, let’s talk about the highlight reel.

What we call, and what we see is social media.

So Facebook feeds, Instagram feeds Tiktok, you name it, if you are consuming content from your friends.

One of the things that has been very popular to say, in the last few years accurately correctly, is that social media is the highlight reel, right? You see all the successes, you see all of the good things, you see all the accomplishments, and you don’t see any of the other stuff, right? You don’t see the failures, you don’t see the laying on the couch, you don’t see taking an awful lot of Advil after after the run you did.

And of course, the big thing that folks say, again, correctly, very correctly, is that comparing your everything to somebody else’s highlight reel is always going to make you feel worse, right, because you only see their successes, you don’t see their failures, and you can see all of your successes and failures.

And so that is I would call that the overt danger of the highlight reel.

And it’s something to be careful of.

There’s a covert danger to the highlight reel.

And this covert secret danger is that when you’re looking at somebody else’s highlight reel, it creates a false illusion of them being okay.

When in fact they may not be okay at all, right? They’re posting stuff consciously or unconsciously to keep up appearances, when they may be in a lot of trouble, when they may be in danger of self harm.

Or they may be in an environment that is deeply unhealthy or dangerous to them.

When they may be in a situation where they are facing intimate partner violence or something and you don’t see that you will never see that on the social media highlight reel but when you scroll by right when you’re on on Facebook or Instagram, whatever and you’re you’re you’re going by your thumbs getting a workout for the day.

You don’t see all those other issues underneath the surface and because of that, you don’t ever think to reach out and say hey, are you okay? i It looks like things are not okay.

So one of the things to take away from this understanding of the highlight reel is that there is the overt danger, don’t compare your stuff.

That is everything to somebody else’s highlight reel.

And to do not assume that because you see stuff on the highlight reel that everything is good, even for rich media channels where you have more data to work with, for example, YouTube videos or Tiktok videos, or audio like podcasts.

Yes, you can get more information about vocal strain or people’s facial expressions or how tired they look.

But that’s still them publishing what They want you to see.

And the things that would endanger them would

Christopher Penn 5:08

reduce their quality of life.

And if you interacted with them on a day to day basis, say in an office, you would see, wow, something’s not right here, something’s not going well here, you still don’t see that even in those rich media formats.

So I would encourage you, if you have friends who publish stuff on social media, photos of their family, you know, vacations, the food that they ate, whatever, do not assume that, because they’re posting normally or regularly that they are okay, still check in with them.

Still ask them how they’re doing.

Maybe every time they post or the first post of their day or week or whatever.

If they are people who are important to you use that opportunity to start a conversation with them, and say, Hey, how are things going, right? I know last week, such and such was happening, and you seem pretty torn up about it, how’s it going.

And in that way, you will diffuse both versions of the highlight reel is dangerous, right? Because you will get a chance to talk to your friend and get a sense of what’s happening that’s outside of the highlight reel.

So that you don’t feel bad comparing yourself to them.

And to if there’s something wrong.

When you reach out to them privately.

You may detect stuff that they didn’t publish, but they didn’t share.

So that is I would call the two dangers of the highlight reel of social media.

I hope that you found this mind reading, if you will.

Interesting.

And I hope it gives you some food for thought.

Things that you can think about to improve the quality of your life, and the strength of the friendships and relationships you have.

Thanks for tuning in.

Got comments or questions? Leave them below.

Right, wherever.

And I’ll talk to you soon.

Take care


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