I’m one of those people that had my life planned out in lists and ideas and timelines. I think about my life and I feel like I’ve achieved nothing, I am no where near where I thought I would be five years ago.
And according to social media, I’m failing…
Oh, I wish I was going out every night with my friends and family, travelling to amazing cities and places, and posting pictures on the gram about how great my life is.
In reality, I’m going to therapy because I’m going through probably the worst time of my life, friends are kinda far and few, I’m having pasta for dinner I think it’s the fourth night in a row and wondering whether I’ll ever be truly happy and have my life together.
I used to be one those people that posted the best of the 21 photos that I took on Instagram. Then sat on my bed waiting patiently for the likes and comments to start rolling in. With each heart, like and comment I felt validated and important. I would feel good about myself and that made me happy. I used to keep refreshing the page to see if the likes on my picture had doubled and tripled and they hadn’t, I felt ugly and ended up deleting that picture.
Why does our self-esteem lie with how many likes, comments and retweets we get on social media? I’m guilty that I’ve posted a few photos and they only got like 5 likes in an hour and I ended up deleting it. Seriously, that is the reality of social media and it is affecting our mental health whether we accept it or deny it. Honestly, we are so fixed and focused on our screens I think sometimes we forget how to really live our lives.
It’s probably the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning, scroll through Twitter, check our notifications on Facebook, look through Instagram and our Snapchat stories. It’s just a part of our daily routines. Then we sit and compare our lives to those on social media. We struggle with our insecurities because we compare our lives to everyone else’s highlight.
Life showed me the worst side of the world at an early age. Life can suck! Sometimes, life can be ugly. And sometimes, life can really knock you down. You won’t see anyone posting about their failures, about their hard times. How they’ve cried themselves to sleep the night before, how they struggled to get up and out the door in the morning. Because, those are the kind of words that we don’t use on social media. We ‘kinda’ have to act like we have our ‘shit’ together on social media.
I’m guilty, I’m one of those people that scrolls through my Instagram feed and snapchat stories on my bed. Wondering why my life isn’t like that. People my age are getting married, having babies, have already bought their first homes, sort of have their life together. And me? I have therapy on a weekly basis, turn up to work with a coffee in my hand every morning and pretend like I have my life together.
I think today, social media has made it so easy for us to compare our lives to those of our peers, acquaintances and our friends. We forget that social media only tells us a tiny part of their story. But, the reality is that we know nothing about their lives. And we will never know the full story. We make up stories in our heads based off those pictures that are most likely staged and filtered.
I think we need to remember that social media isn’t real life. And I think we all kind of know that right?