Life is hard these days isn’t it? Striving for this perfection that everyone else seems to have and get so easily is tiring. It feels super hard to get to where you want to be and super hard to get the things you want in life, doesn’t it? But does it?
On my regular visits to Instgram or Pinterest, I often find myself feeling or thinking the same things:
Why isn’t my bedroom as nice as that one I saw on Instagram the other day?
Why doesn’t my eye-liner look like that when I do it?
She looks so pretty with that dark lipstick on; I need dark lipstick in my life.
That expensive candle looks so good in that room, I need it.
That person’s hair is perfectly placed all the time; I need mine to be like that.
Look at that person’s fashion sense, why can’t mine be like that?
That person has perfect skin; I need perfect skin too.
That person looks like they make so much money, I wish I did.
Wow, they are the perfect parents, I hope I am one day too.
Look at their house, isn’t it huge? Why isn’t ours that big?
They’re having a great day out; I need to make plans to make sure I have fun too and I need to make sure everyone knows about it.
Okay, so I guess you get the point but why do we do this to ourselves? Pretty obsessive really, isn’t it? Pretty ridiculous when you think about it! Of course, we don’t need these things, we want them. So, why do we really want all of these things? So we can post them online too and get the approval of others? So we can take pretty pictures of them and show the world how perfect out life is? At times, this whole cycle just feels so fake and in most instances, unachievable! In a world consumed with Social Media, it’s very difficult not to compare our lives to the lives of others and dream about something we don’t have. The truth of the matter is though that they probably don’t have it either! It probably isn’t as it seems and, as lush as it is to gaze at it and think that it is, the fact is, that picture was taken in an instant, edited and altered and then posted. Life then resumes when the camera isn’t there and things aren’t always as rosy as they seem. That gorgeous office that you crave so much that you saw online lasts all about 10 minutes and then life resumes! Beautiful burning candles are blown out, books placed “just so” on those tidy, super-organised shelves are moved and makeup is smudged. That is the truth because, what we forget is beyond the camera and the Social Media platform, life continues and do you know what? Life can be messy, chaotic and sometimes life doesn’t go the way you want it to and I think it’s important that we remember that.
I’m not a doctor nor am I in research but I’m pretty sure there has been an increase in anxiety and depression in the last 10 years. I have been completely honest in my blogs in the past and you all know that there was a time where I was feeling pretty low and during that time I wondered, why do I feel like this? I felt like I had failed, that my life couldn’t be that perfect life I once strived for. I searched for reassurance and I noticed that more and more people were talking about their mental health issues, their worries and their unhappiness online which is amazing and at the time really helped me to not feel alone but it also made me wonder why I was one of so many people? Why are we all feeling this way? I truly believe that there is an increase in mental health issues in many people because when you grow up with this social media picture of perfection surrounding you constantly you end up feeling like you’re not (and never will be) good enough, like your lives aren’t good enough, like you can’t achieve what you want to or like you are failing. People get down and people get fearful because supposed “happiness” seems to be impossible. THIS HAS TO STOP! I saw a video on Facebook the other day exploring the issues surrounding the use of social media which really made me think. It was a gentleman called Simon Sinek being interviewed and it just made a lot of sense, you can watch the interview here and the specific social media elements can be found 2:38minutes into the video.
We need to remember that things online aren’t as perfect as we think they are. They are a snippet of someone’s life. They are 10 minutes in that person’s day. “See the pretty pictures for what they are and move on” are the words of Giovanna Fletcher who recently took to Instagram to remind people to be happy with who they are and the lives they lead. Giovanna Fletcher is a true inspiration to me and not because I want to be like her but because she reminds me to be me and to be happy being me.
So, I’ve decided to remember this! Remember that there is life beyond Social Media. Please don’t read me wrong, I love Social Media and I use it daily. I love posting pictures, taking the time to edit them to make them look pretty, thinking about what to write and what hashtags to add, I love it, but I do also believe that sometimes, we need to remember that everyone else on that Social Media platform is doing exactly the same! I love interacting with others, I love getting ideas from other people but that’s just it, Social Media should be used to get ideas and inspirations but shouldn’t be used to compare or compete!
We need to remember that even with the perfect skin, in the perfect house, with the perfect life, we still won’t be happy because if we’re not happy with what we have right now, we never will be, we will ALWAYS want more!
Poignant really that while I’m typing this, a song comes on called “Lost In The Light” by Bahamas and the line “so if someone could see you now, let them see you” seems more important now than ever and a perfect name for this blog!
Don’t forget to show people YOU, not you trying to be someone else, not you covered in makeup or filtered to the hills, trying to be cool or funny but you.
So, I remind myself at the times when I am feeling ugly or when I’m wishing to be like someone else that I am already perfect, the perfect version of me, I already lead a perfect life with someone who loves me for me. So, I am perfect, I am perfect to someone and that’s all that really matters.