Social media is a beautiful thing. Since the creation of ICQ, we’ve had the ability to message our friends near and far from an online platform which doesn’t require a fee for every message sent. I remember when texts used to cost $0.10 apiece and it was easier to make an event using ICQ or messenger and get everyone on the same page than it was to send a text or make a phone call using precious daytime minutes. The evolution of technology the last several years has been amazing, and now we have the capability to talk to people around the world, see what they’re posting, and have people from all over view our own posts. But with great power comes great responsibility or so the saying goes. I find a lot of people kind of abuse the apps and programs we now have, and so many people are trying to keep up with the Jones’ or promote the life they wish to lead. I’m not bashing ambitions, or dreams, or even posts of accomplishments. But one of my biggest issues with social media these days is how many people spend more time making their lives look great to others (and to how they would ultimately like it to look to themselves) than they do actually working for that finished product.
I personally only use facebook, instagram and YouTube. I couldn’t get into twitter, and don’t really know or care about what other big platforms are out there. So this blog is going to be based on what I’ve observed on those 3. I love the fact that inspiration and motivation is at our fingertips. A world of knowledge is accessible by a click of a button. Social media does so much good, but there are times I find it ridiculous because it goes from being a harmless way to interact with people who share similar interests, hobbies, or checking in on loved ones or idols to a harmful cycle of trying to compete and compare our lives with those around us.
Issue #1: “People who buy things for the sole purpose of impressing/keeping up with other people.“
Everyone who has ever set (digital) foot on instagram has seen snippets of celebrity lifestyles. Whether it’s a favourite singer, actress, vlogger, whatever really, we have all seen the lifestyles of the rich and famous. As a nerd, I love seeing other people’s houses and am forever finding myself so happy with interior design or inspiration for things I would love to incorporate into my dream home from Pinterest, but I also don’t have any misconception about the fact that my chances of ever owning a “mansion on the hill” are slim to none. And honestly it doesn’t appeal to me beyond enjoying the aesthetics. But with the prevalence of these icons and hashtags about #lifegoals #squadgoals #relationsipgoals #cargoals #fieldgoals #nogoals it’s hard for most people to be able to view these things objectively, and not feel the need to create their own version for presentation.
We’ve all seen the vacations strangers have taken, and decided that we NEED to go to Fiji before we depart this world. But for most people, it doesn’t just motivate people to find ways to build their own versions of these lifestyles they covet or admire. It causes people to overextend on their lines of credit, or max out cards, or in some cases I’ve seen and heard of, to gold dig so that someone else is footing the bill with a different kind of payment for the product. Still not judging, we’ve all done something we couldn’t afford at one time or another, and most likely it was worth every heavily interested penny. But when you’re constantly bombarded with a barrage of pictures from places you would love to go see, or of cars you wish you owned, etc how can you not feel a little envy and the need to try and show that you’ve made it some what yourself? Which is why it drives me NUTS when I see/hear people posting about the amazing trip they’ve got coming up, yet behind the scenes they’re behind on all their bills, unsure of how they’re actually going to afford the trip, let alone have spending money and tip money. Isn’t the point of a vacation to get away and relax? Some people like to go on adventurous vacations, some like to just find a beautiful beach somewhere warm and just be for a week. I personally think vacations are integral to surviving adulthood, BUT I also think they should be done conscientiously. If you know your budget allows for a week in Dominican, why would you wanna stress yourself out and break the bank going to the Bahamas for a month? I totally get that once you’ve been away, you catch the bug and start planning each future trip shortly after arriving back to reality from the last. But if you know you really wanna go on balls out vacays, SAVE THE MONEY. If it means you need to trim off your spending from other areas to make it happen, you know exactly what you can and cannot sacrifice so go with whatever is in your realm of possibilities.
To owe money on things that are ultimately just going to stress you out more seems ludicrous to me. To do it so that you can post a few wicked pictures and make your friends or strangers jealous? Why in the actual fuck? No one cares once they’ve scrolled past it. I have never spent days and weeks obsessing over a picture someone posted, comparing my life to theirs, thinking how cool they are and how much better their life looks than mine. If someone leads a dope life I’m happy for them. Hard work pays off. But so much gets so sensationalized these days that it’s hard to tell the real from the fake. And I’m also happy with where I am, where I’ve come from, and what I’ve done. There are a ton of things on my bucket list, and when I have the funds I’ll chip away at them. I haven’t been on vacation since the two weeks spent in the Bahamas (which I paid for upfront, didn’t owe a penny and had the time of my life). This is because the past year or so hasn’t been so kind in the employment department, and a cross country move is expensive. When I have enough money in the bank that I’m good on bills, savings and everything I actually need to have money for, I’ll save and splurge on a trip. I love Gale Vazoxlade and her jars. My goal for trip savings is 250$ a month so that at the end of a year I’ve got 3000$ to play with. Realistic. And maybe when I have good financial years, I’ll increase that amount up so I can go to the floating villas in Bora Bora. This has been me rambling about trips, but this can apply to houses, cars, makeup, clothing, literally whatever you see posted on social media that creates a sense of status, that makes people want to sell off their kidneys in order to be able to say they did it too/owned it too/went there too.
Bottom line on this train of thought; it’s great to see where other people have gone and to appreciate their passport stamps and experiences. It’s awesome to discover amazing destinations that we want to check out in the future when it’s feasible. But when it goes from genuine pleasure at seeing how someone else has spent their time or getting inspiration for things we want to do, to feeling inadequate and restless and feeding a compulsion to pretend we’re in the same boat, it becomes hazardous. The saying about watering your own grass instead of worrying about your neighbour’s grass is legit. Appreciate their yard, maybe even pick up tips and pointers to use in your own, but don’t neglect or overwater your space to mimic someone else’s.
Issue #2: “People who fake happy relationships for the sole purpose of impressing/keeping up with other people.“
Not one person reading this can say they haven’t seen this at least once. Maybe you’re even guilty of doing it. I know that just about no one goes on social media and wants to share their private problems with the world. Especially when most of what we see is “the highlight reel from someone else’s life.” I love that saying because it’s so true. You can’t compare your entire existence to someone else’s highest points. We all have moments of triumph, where we feel so proud and accomplished and where our hard work pays off. And it’s awesome to be able to share that joy and those moments with others. It can motivate, inspire, or serve as a reminder that you are capable of great things when you’re having a less than stellar moment. But when people begin to post about how perfect their relationships are and how they just couldn’t dream of being without their person, and turn around a week later and have a nasty breakup, you’re left to wonder how on earth something that was so spectacular crumbled to dust so quickly and seemingly out of the blue. Well, that’s because it WASN’T perfect, they WEREN’T happy, but no one wants to admit what they feel is defeat.
In a world where we’re influenced to keep up with everyone else and prove to others as well as ourselves that we’re actually just fine as we are, it’s not ideal to post about the low points. And privacy is key to longevity for relationships. When people are stating to the world that they’re so happy, feel so loved, can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives with this person of their dreams, and then turn around a split up and have nothing good to say about their ex, or blast all kinds of dirty laundry for the world to see, it becomes quite clear that things were never really as they seemed. I personally don’t understand the need to pretend things are good when they aren’t. Why bother telling the world you’re happy when you’re not? How much does it actually affect people’s perception of you if they know that you have rough patches? Why is it more important to play house and pretend you’re happy and committed and in heavenly bliss? You don’t need to tell anyone anything quite frankly. You make the choice to present a fallacy to your friends, family, strangers. You decide to spend more energy keeping up appearances and convincing the world you’re happy than you do on either fixing the situation or separating amicably. I get that each situation is unique, and it’s no one else’s business. But the moment you choose to present every facet of your relationship to social media, you’re allowing people into a corner of that relationship. And when you ultimately crash and burn because you can only fake it so long, you’re inviting the backlash that we know comes from using social media.
Every relationship is going to have strains. We will all fight, scream, cry, act irrationally and feel pain and hurt from the one we love who loves us back. It’s part of growth. It’s healthy to argue, to have different opinions and to struggle to find ways to compromise. You can’t live with someone without having things they do that irritates you. And you will be irritating to the one you love because we are all wired differently. You have to find ways to make it work, and if you hit a brick wall or just can’t find a way to muscle through it, maybe the relationship has run its course. No shame in breakups, you take something away from every person in your life. It helps you discover what you need from the next one. But to go from posting daily about how much you love your boyfriend/girlfriend and publicly planning a future etc to “Fuck him, he’s a deadbeat piece of shit and I can’t believe I ever loved him” or “She’s a whore, fresh D on tinder now swipe right for the ride of your life whaddup ain’t no one gonna tie me down #singlelife #fuckbitchesgetmoney” is a clear sign that it wasn’t an overnight decision. If you have feelings like this towards someone you “loved with every fibre of your being” a week ago, it makes us wonder how much love there really is? There are amicable splits when there are no resentments. Communication is so vital to every relationship we have, especially those with our life partner. A lot of times we don’t feel those needs are met just because of how technology has evolved and changed the way people interact. If you’re not actively finding ways to talk things through, or voice concerns and fight through them when need be, you will wind up with a failed relationship. End of story. When that happens and it comes from people who literally post NON STOP about their relationship and how perfect it is/happy they are/excited they are for their collective futures, they look wind up looking fake. It’s worse to look like a massive liar/attention grubber when shit hits the fan than it does to look like a normal person who has happy moments they post about and then not so happy moments they keep private.
You don’t need to pretend for the world’s sake that you’re happy. It’s no one else’s business at the end of the day, and not in anyone else’s control to be honest. If you have a great relationship, kudos and rock that shit and post away. If you have a shit relationship but don’t want your friends to see that, maybe you should just consider keeping the “I LOVE HIM/HER SO MUCH WE WERE DESTINED TO BE/BONNIE AND CLYDE/JAY AND BEYONCE/ LIVING RELATIONSHIP GOALS HASHTAG IT’S THE REAL DEAL” to a minimum…
Issue #3: “People who troll pages/sites and even worse, the people being trolled who end up trolling out of control in retaliation.“
We all know about internet bullying. We all see the lame comments made by childish weirdos, and most normal people don’t make rude comments to strangers so we’re all usually appalled to some level by the gross things people say. Lady Gaga got body shamed hard for her Super Bowl half time show, because she had rolls I guess??? I watched her show and not once did anything remotely rude pop into my head about her. I didn’t notice anything wrong with her body. All I could think of was how amazing she looked, how crazy it was to me that she could keep up such an intense performance while singing and engaging the crowd and basically just how fucking BOSS she was. She wound up posting a reply to all the trolls on her instagram a few days later about how she’d heard her stomach was the topic of conversation and that she was choosing to ignore it because it was ridiculous. Go girl! People will always be petty, there will always be something negative to be found in any situation to any person by someone who isn’t happy internally and whose purpose when they get out of bed is bringing others down with them. What REALLY gets me is the people who get these rude comments, instead of gracefully saying “I will just be deleting the ignorant and hurtful comments/blocking rude users, keep it nice or don’t play at all” or choosing to ignore it, decide to blast the person responsible and shame them to a worse degree than they themselves were shamed.
There is one account I follow on instagram, and yesterday was the third time she had made an extremely rude post about someone on her page who left a rude comment. I agree with standing up for yourself. I agree with not tolerating disrespectful behaviour and not allowing things that make you uncomfortable or hurt. I do not agree with turning around and trolling through someone’s account yourself and finding the least flattering photos, creating a collage, tagging that person and then RIPPING them to shreds. I get that the user had made a really rude comment about this woman’s body on a photo. Welcome to the internet lol. You will have people making rude comments and picking out flaws and being malicious for no purpose other than just being mean. If you open a page and work hard to generate a following, and want loads of traffic and to promote your services or whatever, you don’t get to pick and choose who initially views and comments, or what they say. You obviously wanted loads of followers, you left your page open instead of private, so you’re bound to get some keyboard gangsters in the mix. Strangers making awful observations about it sucks. It truly does. But if you put yourself in a position where you’re vulnerable to these things, the best rule of thumb is to just delete the hurtful content, block the user, and move on. By calling the user out, making extreme comparisons and probably saying worse things than they had said to you, you are not only being a complete hypocrite but you are actually worse. The user wound up deleting their account, my guess is from this page’s followers going on and commenting nasty things and attacking them. No, it wasn’t cool that this user trolled and hurt this woman’s feelings. But it was far worse that this woman (who I won’t follow any more because she does this a fair amount and it’s childish and petty and cunty and hypocritical) who has such a strong fan base used her platform to openly attack someone. She used her followers to attack this user and bully her. She was offended over a comment, but chose to react like a spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum instead of staying classy and mature and just blocking the user and deleting the comment. I have never seen Lady Gaga make a collage of the people who say rude things about her, tag them, and let her “monsters” run loose and harass them. If you have an active, large following, I think you have a duty to be a good role model. If you don’t like someone making one comment about you, how could you rationalize making a massive post about them AND TAGGING THEM?!
I just don’t leave rude comments. If I have a rude thought when I see something, I say it to myself and keep scrolling and forget about it within seconds. The average attention span for humans is something like 6 seconds. So why waste precious time and integrity typing up rude things to strangers? You’ll forget about it within seconds if you don’t choose to react like a savage. And you’ll be acting like a decent human being. No one likes it when someone has something bad to say about them, and we are all WELL aware of our own flaws so no one actually needs a stranger to point these things out.
My coffee is now cold, and I need to properly wake up and hit the gym with my SIL. Just wanted to rant and rave about how ridiculous people on social media can be for no real purpose. Don’t fake your happiness, don’t fake your life, don’t try to live someone else’s life, and don’t be unnecessarily rude to people. Someone needs to make an etiquette book for social media standards. Who are we really trying to impress at the end of the day? I’m far more concerned about how I feel about me than how my friends or family or strangers feel about me. Gotta look out for number one, and the above habits are bad for the self. Happy Saturday peeps.