Sharing failures on social media

Rather than only celebrating successes, we would do well to discuss setbacks too

April 21, 2024 03:48 am | Updated 03:48 am IST

Technology can be leveraged to help others grow.

Technology can be leveraged to help others grow. | Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Everyone on social media platforms, whether it is Facebook or Instagram, shares beautiful pictures, happy moments, and success in careers or in the family. Very few tell the story behind these milestones, of the many times they did not succeed, or about the difficulties in their professional and personal lives.

Looking at the happy updates, we tend to think that others lead perfect lives and that our own lives are miserable. We may see ourselves as unlucky, not beautiful, or not intelligent enough.

But why are we not encouraged to share our failures on social media?

Perhaps the reason for embracing success stories and ignoring the significance of failures is the reward system we grew up with. When we were children, we may have sat in the audience of an award ceremony at school watching a few students being awarded for achievements. At the same time, we may have seen a student struggling with studies being mocked, scolded and humiliated. Students who are not able to meet the expectations of the school system are often pulled up during parent-teacher meetings and they receive a round of scolding from parents after getting home.

As a result, children may have learnt that a disruption of normalcy is only appreciated when awards and medals are won, not when there are struggles and setbacks.

We spend our whole lives trying to become perfect, sometimes for our satisfaction and sometimes just to please others by conforming to prescriptive social norms. And in this modern age, with technology and digital growth, everyone seems connected. There seem to be award ceremonies and accolades every day.

It is important to keep in mind that the journey from failure to success is not always a straight line and can take a lifetime. We may feel pressure to continuously perform, which can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and stress that may be difficult to manage.

However, let us understand that failure is the stepping stone to success and that it is OK to fail. Actually, success and failure are two sides of one coin, which we call “life”! Let’s share stories of both successes and failures so that social media can give us a boost to learn and grow together.

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