It’s hard to be human in this chaotic world. There are so many factors and situations to consider that just existing can become overwhelming for even the strongest people. Contrary to popular belief, I think that the strongest people like myself are the ones who carry the heaviest of loads. It is the people who are thought to turn everything into a positive that often need the most tender love and care.
It is hard enough to try and balance all of the chaos around us, but when we are expected to put a positive spin on almost everything, no matter how hard it may be, it becomes that much more difficult to “cover up” our true and honest feelings. Naturally, no one really prides themselves in sharing their hardships. As humans, we prefer to show happier moments in life. However, I believe the societal pressures around us are to blame more than we are. If you take the time to look around at others’ Instagram feeds, it is a sure bet that the feeds will be filled with happy and good moments.
As people, we figure that the happiest moments will grant us the most happiness and the all-important like that we are all searching for. The search for validation in social media communities is much more valued than the average person may assume. Validation begins incredibly early in life and in places like school when we are associated with others and develop our instinctual need to fit in and relentless search to belong somewhere. The addition of social media has no doubt enhanced this need in a unique manner.
We look around at all the celebrities we follow. We see their lavish lifestyles and then we begin to wish that we were afforded that same lifestyle. We may even see a friend’s feed where all of their fun travels are documented and wish that we had the money or the means to join in on these same trips. That is when the need and want to fit in can become more of a negative thing as compared to a positive one.
This is a jealousy sort of trigger that can cause doubt about the life you are living and the lifestyle you have created for yourself. You may begin to wonder why you are not able to afford lavish vacations and five-star-rated food like the majority of the people you see scrolling in your newsfeed. This is likely to then spiral into a self-doubting form of depression. I have always loved the quote “Jealousy is the thief of joy.” This is so accurate, especially because we are so apt to compare our lives when they are right in front of our faces. Even though social media can encourage negative thoughts like jealousy, it can also help us tremendously. For example, for the disabled community and people like myself who cannot freely travel, social media is an absolute blessing and a social lifeline. Social media has provided me with friends from across the country that I would not have otherwise. I give thanks for it daily, and I would be so bored and lonely without the ability to communicate with others.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the clutter of social media, remember to take a deep breath and step away from it if need be. Stepping away from overwhelming people or situations that overload your mind can be an essential form of self-care. You should never feel badly or guilty for being a human and treasuring your safe spaces. It’s not only smart, but it’s healthy!