Do you remember when you first discovered Facebook? When the social media giant was all about lighthearted quizzes and banal everyday events or rediscovering people from your sixth form that you hadn’t seen for 15 years?
Or perhaps that was Friends Reunited. Either way, social media in the early days seemed an innocent, unsophisticated activity compared to now. And I’m not even talking about the really uncomfortable truths exposed in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. I’m thinking of the way we now craft our lives online with the same level of attention that we once gave to our CV (if not far more).
We leave out the awkward stuff to instead focus on the happy times, the times we look (semi) perfect, and are living the best version of ourselves. This is not something we are unaware of, and most of us don’t like this aspect of social media, and yet we pretty much all do it anyway: we’re all ‘life editors’ now.
A new campaign from AMV BBDO for mental health startup Sanctus.io draws attention to this habit, and the negative reactions it can provoke, in the form of anxiety and low self-esteem. The agency has created the satirical website Lifefaker.com, where customers can buy readymade images that fast-track them to the perfect life, or at least the appearance of one on social media.
Here they can purchase the ‘Look at my Holiday and Cry Package’, the ‘I Found Love and Babies Package’ or the ‘My Weekend Was Amazing Thanks Package’. In one quick step, social media success can be yours. In reality though, when you click to buy, you are sent through to Sanctus.io where there is info on the pressures of social media.
This campaign does a great job of highlighting the limited reality that exists on social media channels. But what’s surprising is that a site such as Lifefaker doesn’t already exist, in the real world (perhaps it actually does, and I don’t know about it?).
We seem so deeply entrenched in social media fiction now, it is hard to imagine a way out, particularly for younger generations who are growing up surrounded by these heavily edited worlds. Hopefully sites such as Sanctus.io can help raise awareness of the downsides of our overly crafted online profiles, and maybe even encourage a shift in direction.
Agency: AMV BBDO
Creative directors: Rob Messeter, Mike Crowe
Creatives: Oliver Frost, Josephine Sheddon
Production company: AMV Flare