I’m planning to write a full article on the subject, but until then, I am posting some brief notes.
It’s a long time now that I am observing more and more social media identities embracing the “always happy” narrative. Actually, some of them look so happy, like Julie Andrews singing happy at the hills (The sound of Music, 1965) . Don’t get me wrong, I like very much both the film and Julie Andrews’ performance, but all these massively-expressed, constant and uninterrupted happiness/success/beauty demonstrations, make me feel…bored. They leave me also with a feeling of “fakeness”, but I will not get into meaningless discussions about fake – real or true – lie, because, after all, we are discussing about constructed identities. Additionally, sometimes the “happiness” narrative coexists with a strong tendency to follow, for long periods, visual trends, even when these are considered “outdated” (how many more years should I look to bad-edited duck-face selfies or to “exotic” dinners)? What I would like to point out is that these personal narratives are not working as they were meant to, they are bad narratives with even worse editing.
Imagine watching everyday a never-ending series, where nothing much is changing, at least nothing other than the protagonist becoming more and more happy, successful, rich and beautiful. Now, imagine that there are thousands more series like this and that all the protagonists look more or less the same. Please take into account that you have a real life, your own social image to take care and not so much free time. Would you be interested in continuing watching any of these series? Would you care about what will happen to their protagonists?
I am far from a specialist on social media, but I know what a good narrative consists of, and constant, unchallenged happiness may appear only in the end. When the story reaches the point “they lived happily ever after”, the audience turns off the screen, closes the book, leaves the cinema hall.