In the last year I’ve noticed an unhealthy pattern with social media: it sends a message that we’re never good enough, that there is always something or someone doing it bigger and better out there. Because of this we often put up a front instead of showing who we really are. Some do it out of fear, insecurity, uncertainty, or to try and avoid “social rejection”. Others do it because they thrive off of attention, they need to feel validated in everything that they’re doing and they want to show that they are “winning” in this game of life. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter each have their own influence.
So much time is wasted on these things that can never bring us genuine comfort, happiness, love, or the healthy social interaction we need as humans. And we tend to spiral into a negative head game with ourselves by comparing our lives to others, usually complete strangers, who manage to portray the “perfect life” (that does not exist) by posting photos and videos online. This is so. damn. unhealthy. And honestly, it’s kind of scary. We make up a romantic illusion of what our lives look like, when really things are far from what your feed reflects.
I’ll be the first to admit that I regularly have unhealthy thoughts about my reality and the life I show online. I’ll think “I should take a photo of these weights to prove how healthy I am, to show that I’m dedicated to my fitness.” or “This dinner was delicious and it happens to be pretty, I should snap a photo and upload it to show off my love for time in the kitchen.” or the best one, “I look good today. I should post a #selfie and then put a quote as the caption that has nothing to do with my face. It will distract others from the fact that I’m trying to bring attention to myself” And before I know it I’ve wasted time at the gym, my food is cold, or I’m being rude to those around me by giving all of my energy & attention to an insignificant little app that will not ever truly measure the “good” in who I am or add value to my life. It’s all really unfortunate.
How can we be our authentic selves & truly enjoy this beautiful opportunity to create a life we love when we’re so caught up in this rat race? When we’re constantly missing the miracles in life because our heads are down & we’re living through others? Yes, I am guilty of being sucked into social media & societies expectations. I have been doing it all for years now, including this little blog of mine. For a long time these things were positive outlets. I posted uplifting thoughts, photos of nature, and things that simply made me happy. But it has grown into such an unhealthy daily game of comparison that I’ve decided to step away for a while. No more Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for me. I need to take a breather from all the bullshit. I desperately need some authenticity in my life. And I need to really think about what I want my message to the world to be.
“Your life is your message to the world. Make it inspiring.”
― Lorrin L. Lee
We should be doing things because they make us & the people we love happy. Our actions, words, and goals should be said, and done, for personal fulfillment, not for ego boosts & validation from strangers who will never truly get to know who we really are. Photos aren’t taken to get as many “likes” & “comments”, they are taken to capture moments that take our breath away, moments that we want to be able to look back on & reflect as individuals. Not to edit the shit out of them, throw on a tacky font with a word like “Yum!” or “Joy!” & post online. Give me a break.
It is time to get real with ourselves. To embrace the fact that life is messy sometimes & we don’t have to share every little thing we do. Sometimes it’s about the quiet moments we have with ourselves. And sometimes it’s about deep, intimate, raw discussions that we have when we are connected with somebody else… Looking straight in the other persons eyes, not into a screen.
Humans tend to be so self involved. We forget that there is an entire world out there filled with so many other beautiful, intelligent, incredible beings. They don’t have iPhones but they do have hearts bigger than their bodies give them credit for and dreams far too large to document in one photo. When are we going to begin celebrating that about people? The quality of their character, their dreams & accomplishments, and their zest for life & making it better for others. That is what matters. Not your “Man crush Monday” “Throwback Thursday” or “Flashback Friday” posts that are repetitive & mean nothing. Go do something. Go be something. Make someones day & resist the urge to tell everyone & their dog about it. Stop posting about it & simply be about it. I promise you it will feel good. It’s time to break the habit of over-sharing and begin living in the now.
I hope that this break will help bring clarity into my life and allow me to step back, breathe, and truly be here.