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  • Tanushree Vaish

Realising the difference between ‘reel’ and ‘real’

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Have you ever wondered that sometimes we find ourselves caught under the vicious cycle of real vs reel life? Yes, we do forget the distinction between the two more often on social media. But, Before we continue further, we need to know what is meant by reel vs real on social media.

Reel life is a portrayal of an edited & filtered version represented on social media. It is a part of that part of the User's life that is deliberately made public and available to their respective audience.

Real-life - Real-life is an imperfect & and non-fictional part of our lives that we represent. It embraces the reality distinct from reel-ness on social media.

It is ironic how we differentiate both of them while confusing them. Thus, to understand the contrast between the reel vs real on social media, we have to read the article and know more.

Reel-ness: a new normal.

As it is rightly said, All that glitters is not gold. Similarly, Social media does not always portray the real side of people. It represents their refined personalities who view themselves as perfect as they wish to be. Because of this, people are living a parallel life, Unlike the real one. Nevertheless, Individuals even find reel life comforting, as they get the ability and freedom to express themselves and act differently. To people, social media also serves as an escape mechanism, more like a refuge from reality. They have made this a new normal. And surprisingly, the barrier between Reel vs Real has almost become invisible, which is why people fail to differentiate between them.

No wonder, It is high time that we understand the distinction between the two.

Back to reality

Think, Just like we watch a movie and get immersed or fascinated by its plot, but whenever a movie comes to an end, we alert ourselves to get back to reality. Similarly, we have to learn not to brag about the reel-ness of social media too much. At last, it is us who can bring out this change. It depends on the view and perception of the people as to how they perceive social media. We have to know and understand the reality of our lives.

3 Ways to know if you feel trapped in the reel-ness

Do not forget to enjoy the essence of life.

As a member of social media, whenever we witness something intriguing, our initial thoughts are hooked on letting everyone else know about it. In utter excitement, we want to discuss the same with others. And because of this, we fail to embrace that moment in our lives. We tend to become so engrossed in making it social and public that we fail to grasp the meaning behind our happiness. The point is, it is not necessary to display anything or everything related to you on social media. Live in the moment and experience the joy of it.

The day we lose ourselves to reel life is the same day when we learn to neglect the reality of our lives. It seems as if social media users have been burying the Realness of their lives by unlocking the reel part of it. Therefore, learn the difference and try to separate the reel from the real. Live the moment entirely. Do not forget to enjoy the real essence of life. Not everything is supposed to be made known and made public.

Know that social media is not everything

Social media has been a changemaker in our lives since the period of evolution in technological advancements. Social media has given birth to reel oriented lives today. Social media is such a platform that allows anyone and everyone to control our lives without consent. We know that on social media platforms, users are under a 24*7 Watchful eye of our viewers and, this is where we wish to portray a filtered version of ourselves by depicting a way of our lives that is felt necessary according to the standards of life as per social media. And such things are done under pressure to catapult the followers.

Nonetheless, we have to deal with the reality sooner or later. The more we learn the ability to differentiate between the two, the more we are likely to get less addicted to social media life. After all, social media is not everything. We have to learn to distinguish our identity, on and off social media.

Do not allow others' opinions to define you.

On social media, people often find themselves juggling with others' opinions and their own choices. Under such influence, individuals opt for the former and forget their own likes/dislikes. They lose their self-worth and wish to pursue the interests of the audience rather than their own. In this race of social media popularity, reel-ness overpowers Realness. Do not let the opinions of people mould you into someone you are not. Process and understand that your self-worth matters the most.

Learn to distinguish between the reel and real while you are there on social media. Aim at building self-confidence and self-esteem. Learn to understand yourself. Thus, do not get caught up in the reel-ness of social media.

Where is reel life heading?

Reel life appears to be highly attractive, perfect and far from imperfections. Such that, real-life seems highly different and distinct from it. In the reel part of our lives, we find an escape and retreat from our actual reality while enjoying the former. Yet, It is of no surprise that people have been becoming comfortable & satisfied with the identity of the virtual world as represented and portrayed by them. Reel life has impacted our lives in ways one cannot imagine.

  • Firstly, people have been bonding with strangers online. Even if they are far away, social media has been bridging the gap between the two.

  • Reel-ness has overpowered the Realness. Individuals are suffering from inadequacy about their way of life & appearance. One is on the verge of feeling envious and insecure by looking over the perfect people on social media. Reel world has had a remarkable impact on them which is quite evident in their personalities.

  • The reel part of our lives has generated a sense of Fear of missing out. Whenever one of the viewer's notices or comes across glimpses of another's privileged life on social media, They tend to feel insecure, less valued and dissatisfied with themselves.

  • According to the studies and reports, individuals are more prone to feeling isolated if they engross themselves mainly over the virtual part of their lives on social media. Whereas, by reducing the attention towards social media, one is likely to realise and focus on one's self-worth.

Therefore, we can say that social media is impacting our lives fully.

How is reality different from the reel world on social media?

Well, Spending time on Social media or technology is not a bad thing at all. Until and Unless we use it appropriately and ethically. We ought not to get drawn to it in a very obsessive way. We have to act accordingly.

The best way to know the reality of our lives is by living it. If we do not understand this sooner, we will get caught in the bait of reel life while losing ourselves into the dangerous trap. Reel and Real are the same as Private vs Public. But ironically, we have been blending them both. Such that we have been away from reality for some time now.

The reality of our lives can keep us grounded, known and rooted. The following points will let you know-how.

  • When you are living in the actual world, you add more value and importance to your life. You believe in yourself and tend to understand certain things from a real-life perspective, unlike those displayed in the reel world.

  • Staying away from the virtual world will positively impact and make you more content and at peace with yourself.

  • Keeping your life private gives you a sense of freedom with the ability to enjoy it without living life as per the standards of social media.

  • By living in reality, you will learn to respect and care about other things.

  • By facing reality, you will tend to feel connected to your purpose in life rather than getting drawn to a way of life that others are living.

Thus, we have to be cognitive and rational enough to understand the distinction between reel vs real.


To conclude, Reel vs Real is just an illusion only if we learn to differentiate between the two. As social media users, individuals tend to underestimate their way of life while getting drawn to a more privileged part of others lives. Indeed, the reel world is enjoyable and comforting as it does render a platform meant for recreation and entertainment. Nonetheless, we have to be mindful when it comes to facing the reality of our lives.

It has to be noted that overdoing and getting obsessive about the reel world is not something to be proud of. The distinction and difference have to be maintained. The virtual world is not always what it pretends to be. Nevertheless, it depends on how we perceive the change.

Social media is a platform that shapes our lives in a good way. It helps us evolve, unfold and learn more about certain necessary things. But, it does not force its opinions and decisions upon us. It is us who make it look like that.

And this is where realisation comes into the picture.

Thus, learn the distinction and difference between the real vs real on social media!


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