As a society, we are tied to social media, and our lives revolve around Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it, we are addicted! Our friends or followers, eagerly await content, they expect to see content, unique and unquestionably authentic. Why? Social media allows you as an individual to get your thoughts, concerns, and viewpoint out into the world. People grow accustomed to the content, the quality, reliability, or simply put the tone.

As your personality changes based on current events or issues in your life, your tone will inevitably change. Your viewpoint or honesty will trigger support from some while it will offend others and your flock will shift, either closer to support you or to distance themselves from your views and bombastic rhetoric.

The problem ensues. You loved the following, the positive feeling and the satisfaction of having your peer’s acknowledgment, once your tone changes, the temperament of the following changes, and then, they are gone.

Keeping followers and enjoying the attention is simply a part of being human, it satisfies the part of your character, where being needed is critical, and even to feel empowered.

When your content changes from the expected norm, you will face a backlash, you will experience the opposite of all of the positive emotions. Do you need to pretend simply to satisfy your need for gratification? Is it worth diverting your own beliefs and life goals to simple satisfy your gratification? In person, face to face with reality, you can’t lie about who you are, everyone around you know who you and what you are, so why play a shallow and pointless game online?

Social media statistics flood researchers, primarily because private entities and companies want to find the best way to target a substantial and consistent audience. Brad Paisley’s song ‘Online’ clearly, and eloquently states the problem that researchers are now just discovering and proving, “…I’m so much cooler online, so much cooler online…”

A recent survey went out on all social media platforms asking the following questions:

A completely accurate reflection of me and who I am 19%
It’s pretty much my life but without the boring bits 31%
My profile page makes it look like I have a much more active social life than I really do 14%
It’s a shop window, I dress it up a bit but it’s not the whole story 10%
There are a lot of little lies or exaggerations on my Facebook page 2%
None of the above 24%

Another survey conspicuously asked about details pertaining to post content:

Attention-seeking statuses 42.65%
Just boring status updates 41.40%
Constant selfies 40.15%
Gushing about their babies/children 30.20%
Cryptic digs at people 28.55%
Pictures of food 27.80%
Over-sharing/over-posting 26.70%
Posts about the gym/their work-out 23.25%
Gushing about their other half 23.25%
Shares of offensive pictures/jokes 21.50%
Pregnancy updates 15.00%
Statuses urging to give to charity 14.50%
Holiday bragging 13.05%
Photos of pets 8.75%

The statistics from users is pretty staggering and very revealing how social media platforms are used, and if you figure that only 19% of the people that took this survey answered that their profile accurately represented who they were, that means that 81% of social media profiles are lies!

The real question is, which do you keep close; morals, honesty or notoriety?

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Caleb Summerfelt is the Chief Information Officer for a large manufacturing facility, and currently holds a Bachelors in Science in Architecture, Masters in Architecture, Masters in Engineering Technology Management, a PhD while also holding certifications in TOC Strategic Thinking Process Program "Jonah", Constraints Management, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Project Management.