Social media is both a dream and a nightmare. I get to connect with people all over the world, at different parts of their lives, and I get to share mine with them. I love the fact that I am free to connect with people I haven’t spoken to or seen in 5+ years, but at the same time, I really hate it.
If you really think about it, it’s a blessing and curse to know that someone you went to school with has their dream life. You root for them, you’re happy for them, it even proves it’s possible, but it also makes you review your life, and do the dreaded comparison. You immediately feel that you are way behind in life or might have messed up along the way somehow. The question: Why aren’t I living my dream life yet? sashays across your train of thought, and it’s a huge bummer!
Do you know the song “High School Never Ends”, by Bowling for Soup? I remember hearing it for the first time on my sister’s iPod shuffle while at the airport on our February break trip – and I thought – this song has got to be wrong. I was beginning high school and all the academic stress, student body hierarchy, and all around competition was in full swing. I remember thinking, there’s no way the highschool mentality continues into adulthood! I felt confident that high school was gonna be great, maybe even just like the movies. But it wasn’t.
While movies show all the cliques in high school, most of them generally focus on the person that a lot of us strive to be. The popular/mysterious, beautiful, and smart girls or guys – who always get the guy or girl they want in the end. They always seem to manage to learn some grand lesson at the end of the movie too – wouldn’t that be nice? Most of the time, this isn’t the case, and we go through bouts of depression, anxiety, bullying, eating disorders, and years later we might learn something from it. Movies don’t show all that – just like social media doesn’t show all of it. Everyone shows the highlights, the things we hope others will see and think about us, even if it’s not entirely our reality.
While all these platforms have the power to connect us all, they also have the power to destroy us. Destroy our feelings of accomplishment, happiness, and sometimes even love. I have started an unwind process, and I detach from platforms for certain periods of the day. It has helped me be present and proud of my life, undocumented and in real time.
Has anyone else found this to be true and/or do this too? Let me know if the comments below!