Scrolling through the comments on my Instagram, I smile at the irony behind all the Can I be you’s and the Teach me your ways’s and even the one worded jealous’s. Those loyal followers wouldn’t want to be me if they saw the grade I made on my final, and I have nothing to teach them besides how to angle a camera and find suitable lighting.
And don’t be jealous of that vacation– it ended in tears and lost luggage. But most of my 1000 and some odd followers will never know that, because they only skim the thin surface that social media divulges.
There’s more to our substance than what the veiled mask our social media presents. We’re 3-D humans that are a lot more than good lighting, posed candids, and the fun nights we upload to our timelines. Yet, we find ourselves enviously eyeing the girl who looks like she’s never not on some rooftop bar.
We comment “goals” on a picture of that couple that looks perfect. Life online is glossy and polished, with very little indication that there is anything bad behind the statuses riddled with the latest job offers and the GoPro videos of people hurdling into new adventures.
However, what we put online is not a direct reflection of the life we actually live, nor does it mirror the kind of people we are.
Most of us don’t tweet about the details in our lives that leave us crying. We don’t put up selfies on the days when we have bags under our eyes because we spent the night before working on a paper.
We don’t snap pictures at the party when someone has become sick from too much vodka or when our best friend has tear streaks on her face from a fight with her boyfriend. We don’t allow our followers to catch a glimpse of the screenshots where we ask our SO if they really did cheat on us. We’re not the Kardashians. We don’t like people keeping up with our good, bad, and ugly.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. The real you is probably not someone that should be published for an audience of internet stalkers. It’s frowned upon to live tweet your bad day or to make a passive aggressive status about dormant dads. Social media isn’t a platform for you to upload, write, or comment on every aspect of the ins and outs of your life.
There’s a time and a place to unhash the negatives, but typically it’s not from behind a screen. Not everything is a Kodak moment. It’s good that most of us filter not only our pictures, but what we decide to share with our parents, nanas, and third grade teachers.
That being said, keep this all in mind next time you’re scrolling and you feel a stab of envy over the girl studying abroad in Greece for the summer. There’s more to her than her statue selfies and ridiculously even tan. There is a behind the scenes, so don’t dwell and sigh and wish you were her, despite her Nikon camera game being strong.
Life is yin and yang. It’s not all black or all white for anyone, despite what they snapchat or Instagram. The good comes with the bad, and no one’s life is as #blessed as it appears online. Relish in your own moments and accomplishments without comparing yourself to all the triple digit people you follow.
It gets too exhausting comparing and contrasting your own life to the numerous people you scroll past. You’re only seeing what they decide to post, whereas you get a front row seat to all the moments in your own life that don’t get uploaded.
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