This modern world can be tough to navigate. The internet has given us many blessings. However, It has also made our lives feel as though we are often living under a microscope.
It is easy to look at the social media posts of others and feel as though our lives are small in comparison. Facebook and Pinterest feeds of perfectly decorated and tidy homes, Instagram photos of lovely beach vacations and international travel and Twitter feeds full of witty quips, all of which often leave us feeling as though our lives aren’t quite living up to the lives of those around us. It is ever so easy to forget that these perfectly curated moments on social media never show the full and true picture of someone’s life.
The ever-present false perfection of social media tends to cause me to spiral into an unhealthy and unable to be won comparison game. My inner critic feeds off of this game and can always find more and more ways in which I lose- I’m not as thin as everyone else in their perfectly styled photos, my house doesn’t seem to be as clean as the photos of everyone else’s stylish and tidy abodes, my children’s birthday parties could be much more fanciful and full of handmade decorations and homemade gourmet food…It is never ending.
However, even beyond the comparison game, social media has a way of leaving me with a sadness hangover. There are so many that use their social media feeds as a way of venting all of their problems, worries and hate of the world. It is hard to scroll through Facebook or Twitter without a sickening feeling that the world is full of deep sadness and hate. I have taken to unfollowing those with a persistent doom and gloom but, if I know the person personally, end up feeling a bit sad about doing so.
I know that taking breaks from social media, attempting to control my feeds so that they are full of positivity, kindness and a willingness to make a change in the world and reminding myself constantly that no social media account shows a person’s life in it’s entirety is helpful to me.
Beyond the unhealthy comparisons that social media can encourage, as an introvert I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have a voice in this world even as my voice in person may fail me. I am grateful for the like-minded friends that I have met, whom I never would have known without social media. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a voice of kindness and encouragement, even when the collective voices on social media seem to be dreadfully discouraging.
If you add up the number of friends and followers on your social media accounts, how many people do you have collectively following you- Hundreds? Thousands?
Can you imagine standing on a platform with all of those people standing in front of you waiting for you to speak into a microphone- listening to the words you speak, the pictures you will share?
In this modern world, we each have a voice. How are you choosing to use yours?
If each of us was to vow to use our voices less for complaining and spreading hate and chose, instead, to be the collective voice of compassion and honesty, can you imagine the change in humanity? The human condition is one of contagion. It is not only illness that can spread-hate, love, shame, kindness…everything is contagious. As much as we like to stand in our individuality, the truth is that we are each connected. Social media has connected us as never before, without boundaries of location, time and space. The way that we use this massive connection, this massive opportunity to bring humanity together is completely up to us. I empower you think before you share.
“You are what you share.”