“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel” – Steven Furtick.
In a world that’s increasingly centred around being productive, and where “I’m busy” is slowly growing to become a vague, vacuous phrase with no actual meaning, it’s hard not to feel like you’re not achieving as much as you should be. Social media is saturated with posts that your friends share of their newly published articles in peer reviewed journals, or pictures from the time they met Meryl Streep, or #throwback to the time they cured cancer.
Facebook gives me a complex. There, I said it.
The only reason I have not disentangled myself from that social interaction melting pot laden with narcissism and insecurity is because it does come in handy. I have over a hundred easy-quick-1-minute-DIY-Do-It-Yourself-Recipe/Fix-Your-Own-House/Make-Your-Own-Crafts/Entertain-Your-Own-Toddler recipe videos saved on Facebook. These I have saved despite living eight months out of a year in a dormitory with no kitchen, having no reason to be making my own “outdoor fire pit” and definitely not having a toddler in need of entertainment. But, if you give it serious though, where else am I going to be given a platform to accumulate information that I’m never going to use? Pinterest? That requires so much more dedication; dedication I do not have. And besides, Pinterest doesn’t help you feel simultaneously inferior.
Think about it: if a tree falls in a forest, but no one Snapchats it, did it really happen?
It is easy to lose sight of yourself in a world that induces you to keep rebranding who “you” are. A hundred different threads might call out to you, as might deep sorrow and despair at the fact that you were a seven year old with lofty ambitions who after a punch in the gut from life has turned into a self-doubting ball of nerves whose consistent worry is not amounting to anything. You might intrinsically judge yourself for not working as hard as you should, or for taking that 6 PM tea break because the weather was beautiful without even posting a twenty second video to Instagram.
Living life off social media need not be an exception; it can be the norm. Maybe it just means that your friends are always with you, and so you don’t need an application to keep in touch with them. Maybe it means you’re spending less time glued to your phone and more time giving meaning to the phrase “I’m busy”. Curate a metric for who you are and the things you enjoy doing. The more people you have as friends online, the more you might feel the pressure build.
And the next time you get an Article published in a Peer Review Journal, I know what you’ll do.
Post it to Facebook and tag a million people, obviously.