Seeing Shouldn’t Be Believing

Instagram and Netflix are my biggest enemies. Instagram shows me only the best part of people’s lives – and shows me that my life is less than what it should be. Netflix gives me unrealistic expectations for my life – and shows me everything I’m doing wrong.

Honestly, why do we even bother with it? (Because it’s f*cking addicting, I know.)

On Instagram, we only post the best versions of our lives. We want to show the world that everything is perfect. Actually, we want to show everyone that everything is more than perfect. We want people to envy us. We want people to know we’re kicking ass and taking names. We don’t want people to know that we probably (definitely) failed the data analysis exam last week. We don’t want people to know that we left home from the bars feeling more alone then when we got there.

Netflix (specifically, any TV show or movie really) gives us unrealistic expectations. We believe that we can be friends with our exes – because if Nick and Jess can do it, I can too. We believe that true love exists, even after months of pain. We believe that the perfect relationship involves a guy who will stand outside your window and serenade you.

And even when we see realistic life events – the loss of a family member, the unexpected break up, the unfair firing – we’re led to believe that we’ll get over it quickly. Yeah, you’ll be lying on the couch singing “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life” for a week, but then you’ll move on. The timeline of suffering (or even just struggling) is often underplayed.

We believe the best, because that’s what we see constantly.

Not to say that we shouldn’t believe in the best – we should always be hopeful and optimistic. Without hope, why would we ever get out of our beds in the morning? Why would we ever venture out and try anything new or different?

But instead of blindly believing your Instagram friends and Netflix role models, take what you see with a grain of salt. Understand that everything can’t be perfect. The “relationship goals” couple on Instagram, the perfect couples you aspire to be… they have their own problems. The dream of being swept of your feet by Chuck Bass and having a passionately turbulent love story in New York City… it’s fairly unrealistic.

Just because, that’s what sells – or what people want to advertise – it doesn’t mean it’s accurate.

We are wired to show the best versions of ourselves. We are prone to show that we’re okay. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are okay. “Proof or it didn’t happen” is not a legitimate way to live life – because anyone can look okay. It doesn’t mean you are.

Ignore Instagram. Ignore Netflix. Stop comparing yourselves to other people. Stop aspiring to a level of perfection that is unachievable.

You do you. And be okay with it. Because no one’s life is perfect, no matter what it looks like on Instagram.

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