The other day I posted a picture on Instagram about how Perfect my life was with Tom and my baby, about how happy I was and how everything was going so beautifully.
The same day I had nearly torn my own hair out with stress. Usually Edie is a very well behaved baby and she barely cries but this particular day she screamed at me almost constantly. No matter what I did nothing seemed to work she just kept screaming. I was trying to juggle a screaming 12 week old whilst cleaning and tidying, doing the washing and at some point I had to try and cram some food in my mouth so I didn’t get ill. On top of all of this I was having to deal with a business situation that was being made exceptionally difficult and hard to handle. And so I cried, I sat in my bed trying to get Edie to sleep and I cried, hysterically. I questioned my ability to be a business woman and more importantly I felt like a terrible mother, a feeling I wish on no one.
And then I posted my perfect life on Instagram…
This got me thinking about this web of perfection that we’re all trapped in online. We all talk about how we feel we have to pretend to be perfect for everyone to see even when we’re crumbling and we all read blogs and articles about how unfair it is that we have to follow society’s ‘rules’ about how to be. But the saddest part – and the part that everyone seems to overlook – is that, we are the ones writing the rules. It’s us. We’re spinning the web of lies that we’ve got ourselves stuck in.
Nowadays, we absolutely have to post a picture or a status of everything we do, if we don’t take a picture of our beautiful holiday destination or the gorgeous bunch of flowers that someone bought for us, did it really happen? In other words, what’s the point in being happy if we don’t post about it? Somehow, the grand Facebook announcement is now a bigger deal than the actual event itself… That’s not the right way to be living is it?
Single people start to resent anyone in a Relationship because they get sick of seeing their ‘perfect, happy’ relationships plastered all over their computer and phone screens. What we fail to see, what we’re not let in on, are the fights and arguments and imperfections that come along with those relationships. Those imperfections aren’t failures, heck no, if you’re not arguing in your relationship there’s probably not a lot of feeling there – the truth is that those miniature fights show passion and love – but we’d never put them on the internet, that would ruin our perfect reputation.
Sometimes I wonder whether people meet up with their friends because they want to see each other, or because they want to take a picture to show everyone else that they were having ‘such a good day’ with their #faves.
It is sad to say that life is now a popularity contest measured by how many followers and likes we have. We very easily judge someones life by what we see – or don’t see – on other people’s profiles.
Someone asked me the other day ‘what does your personal life have to do with this’ and I couldn’t help but think that our personal lives have absolutely everything to do with everything, don’t they? Because no matter how much you try to make your life look perfect online, nobody’s actually is. We all have hiccups and we all have problems and that is okay. We’re allowed to fail sometimes. Everyone does.
People will talk to us like they are perfect, they will speak to us with this attitude as though they have never made a mistake. They will make comments that leave us wondering why we’re not the best at everything and why they are so good at everything. We need to remember that they’re not, and though they may speak to us as though they are above us, in truth we are equal and they have made many a mistake before.
So really, what is Social Media doing for young adults today? Is it keeping us involved in relevant conversation and connected to all our close friends? Or is it just adding to the pressures that already exist in the challenging lives of university students today? Is it just keeping us connected to people we don’t need to be connected to? Is social media just skewing our perceptions of reality?
So what I want you to know is that you’re allowed to be a little bit rubbish sometimes and just because you never see it on Instagram doesn’t mean that no one else is struggling.
So post your perfect pictures on Instagram but don’t let them fool you when you’re having a bad day, don’t stress that you’re not living as well as anyone else. You’re living just fine, and so am I.
Don’t forget to follow me to see my perfect life too!