I don’t give a sh*t about other people’s lives.
There. I said it.
But wait, before you judge me let me explain: Every day we (and that sadly includes me) spend anything between minutes and hours on social media scrolling through holidays, motivational or emotional quotes, fitness journeys or just gluten-free meals posted by people that we don’t even know that well. And to be honest, I care very little about the tattoo that the guy from my chemistry class in high school got on his recent trip to Marbella, and I care even less about my old neighbour’s barbecue at some lake outside Berlin.
It frankly annoys me to look at lives were the worst thing that can happen is being hungover while working in that quirky vintage café.
And do you want to know why? It’s because what we see online is not the full picture.
It’s just some fabrication that people create to look good and impress others. After all, how many posts share the boring and dull moments that undoubtedly exist? When do you ever see posts about being sad or disappointed?
Exactly: hardly ever.
And how do I know that?
Well, I guess I subconsciously did the same thing myself. It was towards the end of my first year in Scotland when all the essay deadlines and exams started to pile up that I found myself being quite stressed, but when I told my friends at home about this I just got reactions along the lines of “I’ve seen your snapchat stories, I know all you do in Scotland is drink and row so don’t tell me that your studies are hard”. And that reaction actually made perfect sense – all I had been sharing we’re the good things.
So let me rephrase what I said before: I don’t care about the image that others use to portray themselves.
The truth is, I don’t even mind that people feel the need to show off, and I’m not innocent in that matter either but I really hate what this does to my life.
Even though I know that I don’t see the full story online I’m always annoyed when I find myself wondering why other’s lives seem so perfect verses sitting feeling stressed out by work, university and the fear of missing out on my social life. Being quite a competitive person in general I try to compete with what I see on Facebook and Instagram but that’s a losing battle. I try to make sure that everyone knows that the parties I go to are just as cool, the weather on holidays just as nice and my meals just as organic as everyone else’s. But how could my life compete with someone else’s idealized picture that’s not even reality?
The nice thing is that I don’t have to win that competition.
Life isn’t all about showing off to others, and it isn’t chasing their dreams either. It’s about doing what makes US happy.
We just need to remind ourselves that social media is a platform for people to share some aspects of their lives, but if we stop taking what we see as gospel and care a little less about likes and views we would probably be in a less anxious place.
We can live our own life pursuing things that make us happy without constantly worrying about the best moment to start the live broadcast or the most flattering snapchat filter, and then share the best experiences with real people who actually matter to us.
Just remember; copying these highly stylised, fabricated posts from a persons life isn’t the way to find yours.
Put the phone down and put that energy into finding what you love.