Reality of Social Media & Happiness

Monday, January 27, 2014

I had one of the best weekends and days I've had in a long time. Mostly I got to catch up with several people, be it face to face, skype, phone, or text, and I wanted to address a common theme that occurs with me and I'm sure you can resonate with this too.

In 2013, I graduated grad school, moved, started a new job, and its been half a year now. So, when I re-connect with people, a common theme I've noticed is that people kept expressing about what I post on social media....

"It seems like you are on just one big vacation living by the ocean"
"You just have the best life, always doing something fun" or
"I wish I had your life you seem so happy all the time by your photos".....

I don't deny any of that. I'm hyper productive, I do live in a gorgeous area with plenty to explore, and yes, for the most part I have lots of waves of happiness...

But there is a danger to this mentality of social media and the reality of one's happiness or wellness. There are so many articles out there about this that this post is probably repetitive.

I mean we've all done it. I don't know how many times I've looked through someone's social media and thought wow they have it so good or they are doing so well, I wish I was them...When in reality I probably didn't know anything actually going on in their life or had bothered to ask either...

How many times have you been somewhere and you're like "Ah I need to take a photo of this" and post it to social media in hopes of getting credit for a gorgeous photo or to see how many "likes" it can get? I mean I've for sure done it....but if you took a good look at yourself in that was probably happening right? Your car may have broken down that week, your friend may have betrayed your trust, you went through a nasty break up, or maybe someone you knew passed away....

& that photo is all that people have to perceive your life. It's not's maybe a glimpse of it, but it truly isn't the full picture.

So, yes, I live in a gorgeous area . Yes, I am exploring where I live, but it's not as often or as much as you think. I don't post when my co-workers put in 100 work hours, working 6-7 days a week, while we take our work home with us. I also don't post when me and my friend are up at 4am talking about our newest project idea and trying to make it happen because we are living on 2 opposite coasts...or the 11pm skype conversations where I am helping a mentee get to their next dream.

Aside from the "productivity" as a person, I am a mess. My Christmas decorations are still up. I've pissed people off this month. I've been so homesick. I've cried myself to sleep out of disappointing myself. (this isn't a pity post either, please & thank you). I'm figuring out how to have a personal life and to make new friends in a new-ish place. I fail to call my family and update them on my life. I also didn't tithe last month and I also dropped a cuss word or two in front of my Pastor's wife. I have had heart break. I'm trying to figure out what to do in and with my life. I've strayed from God, I've ran towards him, and some days....I don't even know where I'm at with my Faith - but I don't post those moments.

Because I'm human.

AND those moments are messy and let's face it...although gritty and real, a bit depressing...why post every struggle when I have a slew of things to be grateful for? So, yes, I opt to post what I'm grateful for because I am so underserving of the amazing life God has let me have. I feel so lucky to be alive, well, and living. It's an incredible feeling...I have Christ, shelter, relationships, food, & water...what else could I possibly need?

Social media may represent things I do or enjoy, but it's not how I'm always doing or how well I am.

So enjoy your life. Be present. Get off your tush and chase those dreams.  Set new goals. Be bold. Feeing sorry for yourself? Stop. Grieve if you need to. Be upset if you need to be upset. If you're not okay? That's okay. Just be....

So the next time you log onto social media, be mindful of its effects, and guess what? I'll do the same. This post was for me just as much as it is hopefully for you too.

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