Social media, primarily Instagram, has led to the birth of a new kind of celebrity. Created entirely virtually, this celebrity has formed based on their attractiveness, luxurious style of living, traveling expeditions, and of course -- unbelievably good hair. These people seem so unbelievable, and their lifestyles so unattainable, and that's simply because they are.
The truth behind the rise of the Instagram celebrity is that it has created unrealistic standards and expectations for people based on a lifestyle that is essentially nonexistent. Some people may argue, saying that these people really are living that extravagantly, there's photographic evidence of it, after all. The truth is, though, we are not able to see these lives behind the camera. A prime example of this is Australian "Instagram model" Essena O'Neill who vowed to quit Instagram as she realized she was portraying a life that was not her own, and it led her to extreme unhappiness.
O'Neill revealed to her 600,000+ followers, and eventually a larger population, that the life she created on Instagram was, essentially, not real. She went through her Instagram photos and re-captioned them in order to show what the pictures were really portraying. She re-captioned a photo of herself in a bikini revealing, "Stomach sucked in, strategic pose, pushed up boobs. I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. It’s contrived perfection made to get attention.”
While O'Neill certainly opened the eyes of many, it seems that people are still so engrossed with and envious of the lives of those they follow on Instagram, creating unrealistic standards for what it means to be happy. While these "Instagram celebrities" seem delightfully happy and jubilant at all times, much like Essena O'Neil, they probably are not nearly as happy as they seem.
What it all comes down to is a detrimental kind of comparison. The truth is, it is unhealthy to compare your life to the lives, or at least the portrayed lives, of these social media celebrities because it's simply unrealistic. Most people at this age have nowhere near the funds needed for extravagant vacations, a 24/7 beauty team, and expensive clothing.It's easy to believe that all of those factors would contribute to an unparalleled kind of happiness, but they likely would not.
Happiness stems from an internal decision that dictates what it is that makes you happy. If luxurious trips, expensive nights out, and a flawless physique are your only determinants of happiness, you will likely lead an unhappy life for the majority of the time -- because honestly, for most of life, nothing extravagantly wonderful happens. On the other hand, if your happiness depends on your morning coffee, driving with the windows down, and a great meal with the people you love at the end of the day, you're likely to be very happy.
It may be tempting to base life fulfillment on what social media portrays leads to happiness, but it's important to remember that most of it is, for lack of a better word, fake. Life is a whole lot better when you don't let comparison and envy intrude upon your own joy.