How are you doing today? No, really, how are doing today? This phrase has become all too common in our daily lives. No longer do we actually want a response to the question, but rather, we want an illusion of perfection. You see, we all have this desire to be right; to be the best. But it’s a crippling disease brought upon by the age of social media.
Why is this? Well, take a look at your Instagram. What are the pictures that you’re attracted to? The ones that look professional, the ones that exude confidence, but, most importantly, the ones that give the subject an aura of perfection. We give our likes to the best pictures, therefore, we’ve learned to curate our own profile to only show our perfection.
But this isn’t just seen on Instagram. Take a look at your twitter, the funniest tweets will be the ones that get the most retweets. And Facebook? Only the most uplifting stories go viral.
When did we become so obsessed with perfection? Social media began simply as a way to stay in touch with friends, but now it has turned into a vicious competition. What is the prize? The affection of strangers?
We all have some degree of desire to be the best and it can take over our lives. We can be consumed by this desire and lose the essence of ourselves. Gaining back our peace is one of the most difficult tasks of being a 20-something-year-old. Unlike the generations before us, Millennials are tasked with the job of learning how to navigate the world of social media without caving to its claws of greed and doubt. For us, this is uncharted water. We have no one to look up to for guidance on how to defeat the beast that is social media.
Even as I sit here, I’m peaking glances at my phone to see how many likes my new post is up to, I refuse to post certain pictures because it doesn’t fit the theme of my profile, and I’m consumed by the success of this blog. So how do I turn these seemingly negative effects into something positive in my life?
Choose to Be Happy
When I moved to France, I struggled a lot with who I was. I remember looking at the perfection that I had before I left and comparing it to my life at that moment. Looking around, all I could see was everyone else’s perfection. I distinctly remember asking Elliott “Why do they get to have fun, but I don’t”.
You know what he said to me? He told me that they are only showing the highlights of their life and he reminded me that nobody wants to ruin the illusion of their perfection on social media. He also told me that I had a choice to make: create my version of happiness or to continue in this misery.
I firmly believe that you can control your happiness. Sure, there are things out of your control that can get you down, but you control whether that thing ruins your entire day. Now, if you know me, you may be thinking that I complain all the time, which I agree with. However, this is the way I have learned to get over the bad things. Letting the little things that annoy me escape my mouth, allows them to escape my thoughts.
So, find your release. Find out what is necessary for you to be happy. And then learn to recognize how other people cope in order to be happy.
Knowing Your Strengths
We all have pros and cons to our personalities and it can sometimes be hard to see our pros. But finding the good qualities that you have can help you to feel more content within yourself. For example, I like to think that I am a very devoted friend. I like to keep up with my friends and I like showing them that I am there for them through thick and thin. Whenever I am down, I like to focus on my friends and how I can be a better person for them. This makes me feel content and it energizes me.
Finding your strength can give you a distraction from yourself and can work to lighten your mood. So find your strength and focus on perfecting it!
Living Through Social Media
I know this sounds like the exact opposite of everything I talked about above, but trust me on this one. I don’t mean that you should be glued to your phone and you should only live the social media way. No, I mean show your happiness on social media. Choose the stuff that makes you happy; the stuff that, no matter how many likes you get, you will look back at it and remember your happiness.
Social media is for sharing your life, for keeping up with your friends, and for inspiring others. Social media has morphed into something fueled by greed, but instead of trying to change that beast, why don’t we start changing our motivations for using social media?
You see, when you know what makes you happy and you find your upper-hand, suddenly, you stop caring about how you stack up against other people. Let your desire to spread happiness be the driving force behind sharing to social media.
The world of social media is a hard one. Many fall into its trap and find it hard to crawl out of the attitude it creates in us. But I hope that you found this post to help. If you’re struggling with the way social media makes you feel and you need help implementing my advice, please reach out to me! I’d really love to help you personally <3