Media, social media and popular culture are a perfect storm to create feelings of inadequacy, in even the most secure of individuals. This comparative and competitive existence is so commonplace now that it seems many are taking this to be the “new norm” or just accepting it as their reality to now live in; however, I want to stress (can’t stress it enough!) that this is just not the case.
I am a social media user and am not be any means exempt from what I’m writing about, but I also try very hard to keep my expectations of myself and interpretation of other’s (and their lives) within reason. This flood of content leaves us feeling both inspired, and yet drained.
It generates feelings of fear. Fear that we’re not enough, we aren’t doing enough, or perhaps aren’t meeting the life markers that seem to be all around those peers we “follow”. It creates fear of failure, which can also translate into a fear of trying, which can be more detrimental.
These unrealistic, posed and filtered presentations also cause so much loathing. We just can’t be thin enough, pretty enough, have small enough pores or big enough lips. We hate ourselves for envying or coveting things (or people) we see, but we can’t seem to stop. We want to keep looking – and keep wanting – that lie, err life, and we pick at every single tiny “flaw” that we think exists in (or on) us, until it’s ballooned into a monstrous creation.
I want to tell you that first and foremost – these thoughts are SO normal and likely every person has them in some way – so you’re not weird or alone in this. Second, social media isn’t real, and no matter how many times you hear that, it will still be something you have to consciously keep in your mind when consuming media. Lastly, just (try your best) to step out of the “race” and step into your own life. Unplug (literally) from time to time and try to enjoy your life and experiences without feeling the need to receive validation from an external source (such as “likes” or follows) and see how that feels.
Life is meant to be lived fully and enjoyed, so don’t live your life through 10 second Tik-Toks, or limited to 280 character Tweets. Don’t let your IG story be the only time you’re smiling or allow the love you truly feel and deserve be driven by heart shaped icons. You’re more than that. You’re perfect.