Why You Should Ignore the Smoke & Mirrors of Social Media
In a social media-robust world, we all too often get caught up in, and discouraged by the glitz and glamour of what appears to be “lit” lifestyles. You scroll to see Susan on a new beach every week. Go down further there’s Kathy posting a pic stitch of keys, documents, and her jumping in front of her newly purchased dream home. Next, you see countless picture perfect couples. Then scroll a little bit more, and there’s Nathan who is posting about all of his accolades, thriving businesses, and souped-up, luxury rides. While these things can serve as motivation to make your own dream life come to fruition, a lot of times people use it to gauge how well they are doing in life. Bad idea!
Comparing the intricate details of your current position, everyday life, and your personal journey to people’s handpicked highlights is ridiculous! Why? It isn’t a fair comparison. I’m here to tell you three main things. One, things aren’t always what they seem. Two, even if things are as they seem, you aren’t getting the full story. Lastly, don’t buy into the hype; just focus on yourself, and on creating the life that you want.
You have your phone in hand, back to scrolling, and you see Susan on another beach. If only you knew that Susan is using student loan refunds to travel. Remember that picture perfect couple that posts frequently about how happy they are? Well, what you don’t know is that beyond those sweetly captioned photos saying, “Bae is my world…” and “Every day is Valentine’s Day with you,” they are dealing with infidelity, money issues, and are constantly bickering. What about dream house Kathy, with the picture captioned, “#DreamHouse #Independent #IGetMyOwn?” Guess what? Kathy, who flaunted the new house she purchased, received a whole heap of help from her parents for that down payment. Those are just examples of some of the things I am almost certain you are viewing on a daily basis. What you are viewing are merely images, not the background information of those images, so why feel pressured to match up to a façade or something that doesn’t actually exist in real life?
You continue scrolling and see that Nathan has received an award for his new app that he created, and then a little further down is a post showcasing his new AMG C63 S coupe. In this case, this happens to be Nathan’s reality. However, once again, you don’t know what Nathan did to get to where he is today. What if you learned that Nathan was homeless at one point, and then worked his butt off to get into school and graduate? What if you found out that he was still struggling at your age to get his businesses off of the ground, and, then, after much trial and error, his time to shine had arrived? You never know what the real backstory behind these posts are or what is going on, so don’t let it dictate your life or how you feel about yourself or your progression.
As several of our grade school teachers would tell us, keep your eyes on your own paper! When you are focused on your own path and building your own life, you will be able to recognize your growth and personal achievements. Joy and a sense of accomplishment will be found in setting and tackling new goals that you set forth for yourself. In doing this, you will be less worried about measuring up to posts and “keeping up with the Joneses.” I want you to realize that your real life, individual victories made on your unique journey are important and commendable, so put down the phone, stop the comparisons, and go after the things you want out of life.