Every time I open Social Media I feel like I’m the laziest person on the face of Mother Earth. I haven’t worked out lately and I also didn’t bring a self-cooked raw-vegan-plant-based poké bowl to the office today (well, I work at home). But anyways, I also don’t cook very often, although the kitchen is just around the corner from my desk. Sometimes I forget to eat or just devour a pack of chips for dinner. But what I deemed normal for a while, now makes me feel like I’m failing. Failing at life somehow.
When did life become so much pressure?
Looking back at my teenage days I looked up to idols who were flawed. Kurt Cobain was my melancholic hero. Britney Spears was this shining star in the moment she shaved her whole head in an attempt to get rid of her past self. I was always drawn to the messier side of life it seems, and I believe it didn’t hurt me after all. Just the opposite actually, it made me accept myself and my flaws, which is the solid base of my grown-up self-confidence.
How do they do it?
Today I open Instagram and there they are. The wonder women of today – with their shining armour of hustle and grind. They almost become super human, pushing all their (self-imposed) To Do lists and success stories in your face.
Have you been working out today? Have you eaten healthy? Have you taken time to be with your family? Have you mediated today? Have you done Yoga? Have you reduced your cellphone usage? Have you been reading books? Have you helped someone over the street today? Have you donated for orphaned orang-utans? Have you found that life partner who makes you happy endlessly?
Don’t even begin to harass me with your #MondayMotivation quotes about success and personal development. No, I haven’t answered all my mails at 7am in the morning. I also didn’t read a book on the way from one meeting to the next. And I sure as hell didn’t attend that important networking event last night with all those potential clients and investors at that new club.
Yes, I probably had a fight with my husband this morning about the dirty dishes in the sink. Also I didn’t have
time energy to shave my legs since 3 weeks so I’m basically turning into a male version of myself. I haven’t been able to steer clear of plastic. And I’m most definitely not below 30% body fat. I’m basically failing in every life task Social Media has told me to excel in.
I guess I’m a classic case of #instagramvsreality.
When life turns into checking off To Do’s.
Don’t tell me you don’t feel this pressure of perfecting your life every time you open Social Media. (And if you don’t then just keep that to yourself, because it would seriously make me doubt my sanity 🙂 ). You should travel more often, see the world, tick off all those countries on your bucket list – but please, do so in an ecological way. Save the planet, but also don’t forget to improve your body, marriage, friendships and career so you can become this hyperbole of yourself.
And before I forget, make sure to leave something behind. Create something of value for this world. Be a role model!
Maybe I’m just too weak to see behind the charade. I can’t say it doesn’t affect me, because it does. The only thing that has helped me was muting those Insta Stories from the hustlers and grinders, skipping over the posts of the ones striving only for perfection and turning towards those that seem more real and attainable.
The ideal self
Showcasing an idealised version of ourselves on Social Media might feel like a positive thing to do. We want to “inspire others”, right? But to be perfectly honest – it’s mostly just reassuring ourselves and not empowering others. Showing our vulnerabilities and flaws is much more empowering for others.
We don’t have it all and perfection isn’t the same as happiness.
Happiness is a mirage. Glimmering in the distance like a promise, that never turns into reality once we get closer. There’s no path to a completely happy life. Wealth, success or beauty doesn’t make us happy. And 3% body fat surely doesn’t do the trick. Yes, that sounds like a platitude and we have heard it so many times. But have we internalised those words?
Where them winners at?
I recently was part of a group interview with Austrian magazine “Biber” about Social Media and it’s effects on us as people and society. When journalist Laila Daneshmandi said how we are collectively using Social Media to showcase and replicate our idea of happiness this rang a bell with me.
Happiness seemed like this thing that used to be reserved for an elite. The rich and beautiful ones. The models or actors or music stars. Yet, we always suspected that something was wrong in that picture. This display of happiness was only a facade orchestrated by PR agents. But nowadays? We are turning into our own PR agents.
We curate our life and show what we deem is necessary to be showed online. Our best version of ourselves. A superficial fragment of our real state of mind. And then we replicate that behaviour over and over again – just to fall in the trap ourselves when we watch the
stage performance charade of others. We start believing they must be happier than us.
Being content or being a hustler
But turns out happiness is a moment and moments are fleeting as per definition. What truly makes for a great change in our lives would be to train ourselves to be content and refrain from assessing and evaluating everything around us. But that sounds way less sexy than happiness, right? 🙂
So, fuck the hustle! Fuck chasing the dreams and forgetting how to live in the moment.
Dreams are mostly just illusions promising us a happier future. But guess what, there is no real future – if we want to change our perception of reality we have to start right now. And hustling isn’t the path! Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind being “successful” (we all know that’s a very relative term – while some people ask me “How I did it” others belittle my work). But when I work together with clients I “hustle” as well. I want to make you – my readers – as happy as my client. I give it my all and then a little.
Yet, afterwards I also take a pause. I sit on my couch and watch a whole season of “Somebody feed Phil” without one tiny bit of remorse (I mean look at his face when he eats – who won’t fall in love with this?). And I also don’t post on Social Media for a while. Because, I don’t want to feed the monster and take away your valuable life time with meaningless insights into my boring daily life.
What to show and what to hide?
Now, I’m asking myself, am I being dishonest with you? Should I show you how I do nothing and then some? How can I visually prove to you that I walk in idleness (not just on rare occasions, but regularly) and I don’t think it’s a “sin”? And if I do so – will I make you feel bad as well, because you’re not able to watch Netflix and chill at that particular moment? 🙂
In any case I truly believe Social Media needs to become a clearer reflection of reality. And we personally also need to take responsibility for what kind of a life we portray on Social Media.
In the meantime, know that if I’m not posting on Instagram, I’m probably just chilling. And it’s not the beginning of all vice.
P.S. We should all become a little more Celeste. And a little less Barbie.