I caught myself yesterday taking a photo in Waterstones as I was reading a book to then instantly display on my story, because hey – look at what I’m doing! I’m interesting, validate me.
To which I stopped myself, deleted the post, put my phone away and carried on reading what was a very interesting book.
It all starts with the feeling of nothing to do and the longing for my life to be more interesting.
Why don’t I socialise more? Where are my friends at? What are people up to and did I miss a thing? Am I missing out?
*Proceeds to check phone and scrolls down on Instagram*
My friends are up to…stuff?
Let’s call it stuff; where it means either having (what looks like) the time of their life on holiday, or hanging out somewhere down the road with other people, or just looking like they’re living their best life as they go about their day.
Then that sinking feeling of unfulfillment comes and I begin to question, “Why am I not doing this? Why is my life so boring?”
The thing about social media is that overtime, I have learnt to build up a callas to these feelings and come to recognise what people put up online is what they only CHOOSE to show.
Social media enables us all to display a lifestyle fantasy of ours, to get across what we wished our lives were like for the instant need of validation – which social media holds promise to.
It also in turn holds promise to how irrelevant a post can be by the end of the day.
Andy Warhol said, “In the future, everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” And with the phenomenon of social media, it further proves Warhol’s prediction to be true.
Often, I find myself sinking back in to the fear of missing out and it’s usually when I am active on social media.
I dedicate my social media activity mostly to my art or to share something positive, but what we do not realise is that not only are we distributing content, we are also taking in a lot too.
What we see on a daily basis, what we are subconsciously digesting can really affect our moods, insecurities, self-esteem and overall outlook on life.
We begin to fall for this ‘fantasy’ lifestyle and think there is more to life than what we have.
I believe having a social media detox is incredibly important, it’s something I practice often and over the years have learnt to care less about likes.
The need for external validation withers away and overall I am the most productive with my work because I stop caring what others think.
I am awake to the reality around me rather than longing for the fantasies I see online.
I say go offline once in a while, detox yourself and open your eyes to how truly wonderful your life actually is.
You won’t stop to share that on your story because, you are living in the moment and that is truly the thing we are missing out on.