Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT
"I seldom read posts on WeChat Moments because many of them are not true and don't reveal what a person is really like," a friend of mine told me.
Then, I attended a small gathering at a bar a few days ago, and a girl asked me why my posts are full of positive energy as if there is nothing wrong in my life.
I reread my WeChat posts to check whether what she said was true, and surprisingly, almost all my posts brim with enthusiasm. It seems my daily life runs smoothly. As we know, online and offline communication are the two channels for interpersonal exchange. WeChat is among the popular online social platforms in China, and people share their ideas and create personal images by posting on WeChat Moments.
One way to construct a better personal image is to polish photos, especially selfies or other portraits by using photo editing apps before posting them on WeChat. It helps convey a sense of goodness and happiness to other users.
Another way to present our charming personality is by posting ideas or comments. We take a lot of things into consideration before we post on WeChat, and we will delete a post if we feel it is inappropriate or we find it may damage our image or affect our good terms with other people.
Sometimes it is the posts that take a negative tone or those that we delete that carry our true self-expressions.
I once had a stomachache and suffered from acute diarrhea. I went to hospital by myself to have a physical examination, went to the toilet several times and waited a long time before I got treatment.
Then, I had to do all the tests to find out the root cause of my illness on my own. In the outpatient area, all the patients except me were accompanied by family or friends. Loneliness suddenly overcame me and pushed me to post on WeChat Moments.
I described how I felt and expressed my willingness to look for someone to take care of me.
Many friends left messages to console me and wish me a speedy recovery. But some criticized my vulnerability. They suggested that I become stronger to deal with such situations.
The responses to my self-exposition vary. So, why do I ask for trouble by posting the other side of me or criticizing others explicitly on WeChat Moments?
After all, nobody likes unpleasantness.
WeChat posts are intertwined with authenticity and untruthfulness. The great majority are prone to show the best, and very few exhibit disheartened spirits. We post our thoughts with invisible masks to hide whatever we refuse to tell the world.
But despite this, WeChat's feed still provides an effective way for us to learn more about someone.
A word of advice, face-to-face contact with someone you would like to get to know better is more feasible than reading his or her WeChat posts.
This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.