Some people live their life through social media, having built their identity through photos and comparing themselves to other people online. Is this how the people of our generation have fun? Nowadays, people are more concerned with proving their 338 Facebook friends that they’re having the time of their lives rather than actually having the time of their lives.
The 23 beautiful photos of the ‘OOTD’ (that’s ‘outfit of the day’ if you didn’t already know) is more than likely for a new profile picture rather than for the day ahead itself. And don’t even think about going out without uploading a new Snapchat story of your lunch or those new pair of trainers you bought; without any evidence of your daily adventures, they simply didn’t happen.
Step outside for a moment. What do you see? I am certain that half of the people you see in public will be on their smartphones. If they’re not taking a selfie, they’re probably on Tinder, happily conversing with strangers through an app whilst simultaneously frowning at the people around them, just like you and I, who they don’t even think about approaching for a face-to-face conversation.
It’s a sad reality. The thought of uploading a photo that is anything less than perfect is inconceivable, so every picture is taken with precision, the most flattering angles, best lighting and most appealing filter. So what happens if the photo just isn’t perfect enough? The post is removed the next day if they did not accumulate a sufficient number of “likes” because that alone is considered a reflection of how many people like them in real life.
Life is now a popularity contest, and it seems that your popularity is measured by how many followers you have on Twitter or how many likes you possess when you upload a selfie on Instagram. This brag culture has resulted in us being too busy portraying our lives online that we’re forgetting to actually live them. Don’t believe everything you see on social media. Everyone’s life isn’t quite as perfect as they try to make it seem online.
The harsh truth is that you’re never going to be happy by stunting, without having a fulfilling life to parallel the glossy one you put so much time into constructing online. You can lie to the world but not to yourself, as gradually it will eat you up. Gradually, the old methods won’t work anymore. Gradually, playing charades won’t be enough to keep your head above water and you’ll have to work on your real life, your real self.
Social media can be brilliant – but as a branch off of your real life, not your whole life or your whole basis of confidence and identity. You are beyond your looks, beyond your ego, beyond all of the things you think are you. This fleshy container is just a decoration. You’re the you that you are when you’re alone, with nothing but your inner voice. You discover who you are when you have nothing, how do you respond?
You can pretend all day that you are happy, but only you know the truth. And if the truth is that really, you’re quite unhappy with yourself and the way your life is going, don’t upload another selfie. Don’t search for your inner contentedness through other people, because that’ll always be fragile and fleeting. Build from within and you’ll blow yourself away, you’ll conquer more than you could ever imagine. Love your beautiful little soul and your world will transform.