With social media, anyone can be a model, anyone can be "relationship goals", anyone can be anything. People can find confidence and friends through Instagram, Twitter, even Facebook. I think that's awesome. It's a great way to stay in touch with people you don't get to see often enough and I love it.
But social media isn't always our best friend. I think it encourages people to live unauthentic lives. I've definitely been guilty of only posting cool or positive things on social media during my fall semester when the transition into college life wasn't going well.
I'm trying to be real about my college experience, the ups and downs in my life, and live more authentically. In this sort of weird journey, I've run into some interesting roadblocks.
People, on social media, only show the parts of their lives that are perfect. They spend hours editing pictures for Instagram, curating the perfect Snap Chat Story, and draft unending Facebook posts about their latest achievements. We only show the good things and we enhance them far beyond their original impact.
We don't talk about, or post about, the bad things in our lives because we don't want to seem lesser. We ignore entire chunks of our existence because they aren't photo-ready, they won't get the retweets or the likes we want. We ignore vital pieces of ourselves that we don't want others to see.
Younger kids see this kind of behavior from students and peers that are older who have graduated before them and they label it as "grown up". These perfect lives we all create are seen as normal.
As a result of this, we're left questioning whether or not we're doing things right when we can't meet the expectations of other's lives on social media.
This kind of culture is encouraging a broken idea of growing up. There is an immense pressure to be more mature, look older, have everything figured out faster. Social media, and these "perfect" lives, have contributed to this more than anything else.
We reach certain points in our lives, like college or high school, and a lot of the time our only examples of who to be are those who have come before us, and what they've decided to show us is "normal" on social media.
We're too focused on being like everyone else and showing everyone how good our lives are that we forget to be happy in this moment and be with people who are good for us right where we are in life.
Where we are right now is exactly where we need to be and there isn't any point trying to rush it.
I hated college for a really long time and it's taken me a full year to even feel somewhat comfortable at my awesome school full of incredible people. No one talks about homesickness, you only see the parties, the friends, the "perfect" college experience.
It's not authentic, and I refuse to live my life any other way.
I'll talk about how often I cry, how little effort I put into my appearance, what it feels like to be neck deep in Finals Week, how bad my grades are, the weight I've put on, and all of the races I have gotten last in alongside my posts about my awesome friends, cool classes, fun adventures, and time spent with my family.
I leave you with this.
Laugh at people falling down in the snow, chase bugs, tell your friends and family you love them, listen to whatever music you want, wear whatever you want, don't worry about your life or relationship looking perfect or exciting to other people.
Life is too short to try and grow up faster than we already do, be authentic in your experiences and you'll be happier for it.