Live Your Life In Person, Not In A Social Media Post

Live Your Life In Person, Not In A Social Media Post

When did Instagram become who has the best life?

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Social media is a huge part of everyone's life nowadays. When walking to class everyone is on their phones listening to music, texting, and mindlessly scrolling through social media. This has been happening ever since people started getting iPhones but I realized that mindless walking during college. This summer, I realized the effects of what social media has on us all: comparing.

This summer, lots of college students are busy. The effort to get ahead in school or to make as much as humanly possible for the next school year. The routine is to get up, work, and repeat. Some take on summer classes along with a full-time job. After a long day at work, I hop on Instagram because... well because that's just the thing to do. This led me to picture-perfect poses with excellent filters complimenting the girl's skin tone, her perfect bikini body, and a soft smile. It looks like they could be on the cover of a fashion magazine. This isn't just one picture.

This is a whole feed full of people getting the perfect lighting and the clearest picture.

After working a long shift at work, I often sit there wondering, "how do they have time to do all of this? Don't they work?" You may be getting a decent paycheck but what happened to summer memories on the water or spending summer nights out with your family around a campfire? So while I sit there on my phone, I get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). There are not enough hours in the day and not enough weeks of summer to do all that you want to do in the summer.

Not only do you fear you aren't doing enough, but that you don't look good enough. You see a photo of a girl with a gorgeous body in a swimsuit facing a body of water with the sun setting in the background. You think, "I wish I was that pretty... she is so skinny, I could never get to that size... I wish I had her life, it seems perfect..." Here is your wakeup call: No one's life is perfect.

See also: Instagram Is Hands Down The Worst Social Media Of 2018, But It's Not The Platform's Fault

Instagram feeds this thought that I have to look good to post a picture. I have to have the right look or the right lighting to get the most likes. So that people will notice me. WRONG. We should not be putting in so much effort to look good for others who, it is possible, you have never even spoken to.

We look for the approval of Instagram likes because it shows that you had one of the best pictures on their feed or you looked the best.

I, for one, am still guilty of highlighting the best features of myself. I know lots of girls who go to extremes to look good and get the perfect filter or the perfect caption. I know girls who will say, "Like my Instagram picture!" It gives them the confidence that they are doing life right. Live your life just the way you want to. Don't look for others approval online. When did Instagram become who is living the best life? The one you have is great.

For those who made serious bank this summer, good for you! You may not have had the time to do everything you want, but you still got a break from the stress and work that is school. Live your life the way it is without documenting it. Don't compare yourself to others because you made the most out of your summer in your own way.

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I Ghosted My Old Self For 5 Months In An Effort To Reevaluate My Life

My life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

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BREAKING (not fake) NEWS: It's true, you have to hit your lowest before hitting your highest.

I want to share my lowest with you, and I'm almost ashamed to say it had nothing to do with the loss of both of my parents. I like to think I handled that like a warrior.

Turns out I didn't, and the hurt I've been burying from that hit me all at once, the same moment my life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

My life flipped upside down overnight back in August. I had my heart broken shattered, lost two very important friendships that I thought were with me until the end, lost my 9-5 job, my health took a hit stronger than a boulder, and I was absolutely lost. For the first time, ever, I let go of the reigns on my own life. I had no idea how to handle myself, how to make anyone around me happy, how to get out of bed or how to even begin the process of trying to process what the f*ck just happened. I was terrified.

Coming from the girl who never encountered a dilemma she couldn't fix instantaneously, on her own, with no emotional burden. I was checked out from making my life better. So I didn't try. I didn't even think about thinking about trying.

The only relatively understandable way I could think to deal with anything was to not deal with anything. And that's exactly what I did. And it was f*cking amazing.

I went into hiding for a week, then went on a week getaway with my family, regained that feeling of being loved unconditionally, and realized that's all I need. They are all I need. Friends? Nah. Family. Only. Always.

On that vacation, I got a call from the school district that they wanted me in for an interview the day I come home. It was for a position that entailed every single class, combined, that I took in my college career. It was a career that I had just gotten my degree for three months before.

I came home and saw my doctor and got a health plan in order. I was immediately thrown into the month-long hiring process for work. I made it a point to make sunset every single night, alone, to make sure I was mentally caught up and in-check at the same exact speed that my life was turning. I was not about to lose my control again. Not ever.

Since August, I have spent more time with family than ever. I've read over 10 new books, I've discovered so much new music, I went on some of my best, the worst and funniest first dates, I made true, loyal friends that cause me zero stress while completely drowning me in overwhelming amounts of love and support, I got back into yoga, and I started that job and damn near fell more in love with it than I ever was for the guy I lost over the summer.

But most importantly, I changed my mindset. I promised myself to not say a single sentence that has a negative tone to it. I promised myself to think three times before engaging in any type of personal conversation. I promised myself to wake up in a good mood every damn day because I'm alive and that is the only factor I should need to be happy.

Take it from a girl who knew her words were weapons and used them frequently before deciding to turn every aspect of her life into positivity — even in the midst of losing one of my closest family members. I have been told multiple times, by people so dear to me that I'm "glowing." You know what I said back? F*ck yes I am, and I deserve to.

I am so happy with myself and it has nothing to do with the things around me. It's so much deeper than that, and I'm beaming with pride. Of myself. For myself.

I want to leave you with these thoughts that those people who have hurt me, left me, and loved me through these last couple of months have taught me

Growth is sometimes a lonely process.
Some things go too deep to ever be forgotten.
You need to give yourself the permission to be happy right now.
You outgrow people you thought you couldn't live without, and you're not the one to blame for that. You're growing.
Sometimes it takes your break down to reach your breakthrough.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

My god, it's so f*cking good.

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The Down-Low On Spending Winter Break Back Home In Southern California

What its really like celebrating "winter" here in Southern California, and why we call it Swinter!

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It's winter in Southern California. This isn't really even a true winter, though.

The coldest it gets in the day is usually about 60 degrees during the daytime, and the sun is almost always shining.

Here in sunny SoCal we don't even call it winter. We call it Swinter.

Swinter basically combines summer and winter into one. We call it this because you can find people surfing in Huntington Beach or riding their bikes along the beach trail in Long Beach on Christmas.

Instead of a white Christmas, we get a standard sandy, sunny day.

Also, we aren't cuddled up near the fireplace with mugs of hot cocoa in our hands on that festive day. Most of us have ice-cold sodas or other various cold drinks in our hands.

The temperature is nice enough to have the sliding glass doors open to smell the ocean breeze that comes in through the windows.

Even in December and January, you can see people walking around wearing a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, a windbreaker and some flip-flops here in Southern California. Christmas dinners are attended in dresses or skirts instead of sweaters and pants.

Heaters aren't usually turned on, but, of course, some soft, fluffy blankets are used because, well, they are just truly amazing.

Ice cream is something that can be easily be eaten while standing outside of the local ice cream shop without turning into a piece of ice yourself.

Sometimes, however, this nice weather on Christmas can get a little boring and old after a while. We dream about having a snowball fight on Christmas morning or waking up to open presents with a large cup of cocoa in your hands warming your freezing fingers.

We dream about turning on "Elf" or another Christmas movie while the fire is growing warmer and warmer filling the house with the smell of fall and with warmth.

Yes, we have these marvelous dreams of cold December nights and brisk January mornings, but, in all honesty, a sun-shiny winter isn't all that bad.

Growing up in California my entire life, these are the Christmases that I know the best. I couldn't imagine celebrating this holiday with my friends and family any other way because it's something different and fun that we get to experience year after year.

Being able to wear denim shorts and some sandals in the middle of December is pretty amazing, and I am oh so very glad that it's something we get to do here in this beachy state.

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