Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Snapchat.
Social media can be a lifesaver – it can connect you with people you haven’t seen in a while, with family across different borders, or with a great job opportunity. But, it also can take its toll.
A lot of the time, it seems like people use social media as a form of showing off more so than as a way to connect. It’s great that you received an offer for that big job you’ve been working so hard to get – absolutely share that. But do I need to see a picture of your expensive lunch every single day? Or your location in a new city every month? I think not.
Social media has taken the lives of people who felt they couldn’t keep up. It’s caused people to delve deeper into depression. It’s kicked kids who were already down through cyber-bullying and anonymity. Sometimes because of targeted posts, and other times just based off of the general things people put online.
Nobody’s going to post the negative things. You don’t see people posting status updates about how they got fired last week. Or about how a loan fell through, and they’re struggling for cash. But, you’ll see when they get a cool, new job. Or when they buy that new house.
You don’t see the struggling new mom’s eyes as she tries to balance working and taking care of her new baby girl with sleeping and paying the bills. You just see the precious new outfit she’s wearing in her newly decorated nursery. You like, you comment, and you think “wow, I don’t know how she does it. I can barely keep up with myself, and she’s so effortlessly handling her life”. Except, she’s not.
You don’t see the amount of caffeine and sleepless nights a college senior has as he tries to finish 3 projects, 2 papers, and study for 4 exams. You don’t see how he’s literally taken over a table for 6 at the library just to fall asleep on the couch. But, you see him standing on the edge of a stage, in a cap and gown, holding his diploma. You like, you comment, and you think “he’s so smart, he did so well in college and got out in 4 years, and I’m struggling to graduate in 5”.
Now, I’m not saying I’m not guilty. We all do it. We overshare, to the point of bragging, and we don’t realize what we’re posting. But, just remember to keep in mind that everything you see on social media is just the surface. There’s so much more to the story that you’re not getting. Don’t ever try to compare your life to that of someone’s you see through social media. The girl that travels all the time to different cities for work might actually hate her job. But, all you’ll ever see is the plane ticket and the view of the wing through the window seat of the plane. Your life is absolutely okay where it is, and everyone understands your struggle a lot more than you think. Hang in there.