Sometimes I feel like I’m living in two separate worlds. There’s the one that I wake up and experience, the one in which I actually feel real feelings, hold real people, kiss boo boos, wipe messy faces and drink wine into the late hours of the evening with my husband… and then there’s the one that is constantly distracting me from the real thing. The one that I turn on when I first open my eyes in the morning and the last one I see before going to bed at night, the one bombarding me with materialism, beauty and perfectionism that I’ll just never be able to measure up to.
Sometimes I lay in bed ten minutes longer getting wrapped up in it and sometimes I choose it over the beautiful life that’s right in front of me, I’m writing this because I know you do too. It’s something I desperately need to change but there is just something about this online world that’s distracting, all-encompassing. Above all though it’s just so very unrealistic. I tune into this world (that I am so very much a part of) one that I so badly want to engage in but in the same instance want to run away from.
Fortunately, I know that social media (Instagram in particular) is a highlight reel, a facade if you will. I know this because I have a growing Instagram feed where I share the best of my life. I will never apologize for that but I do know this…
Behind these beautiful squares is a teenage girl just dying to be accepted, a child with a broken family who is grasping for any kind of normalcy. A couple struggling with infertility while watching their friends and family around them welcoming new babies. Someone dreaming of settling down, of finding that once in a lifetime love and wondering when it will be their turn.
Behind these beautiful squares is a mother suffering from post partum depression, smothering from the weight of guilt every single day as she compares herself to the seemingly perfect moms online. A mother struggling to breastfeed, a mother losing her patience, her temper, losing herself. A mother wrestling with guilt everyday because she can’t measure up to the perfect mom delusion.
Behind these beautiful squares are couples struggling to keep their marriage together, couples secretly falling apart. Families digging their way out of a financial debt brought on by this materialistic world. Behind these squares are people wishing for a better home, a better relationship, more money, more patience, a life as magical as this online world portrays. Family secrets, personal secrets, feeling as though your living a lie for not sharing every single part of yourself or wanting to share it all but fear the judgment that will come with it.
It. Is. Not. Real. Life
Instead of living our lives we’re getting sucked into these imaginary lives we live online, feeling burdened and borderline depressed some days because our lives are just too mundane to even document, they’re not measuring up. I know people who are literally keeping themselves up at night worrying about the last person that unfollowed them on social media, as if the number of people who follow them is a direct reflection of their importance.
To that I say this. You can find beauty in those quiet and mundane moments, in fact you can find more beauty in those moments if you just step away and allow yourself to be a part of your world. Your actual real life world, the one beyond the boundaries of social media and online connections. Social media should not be a full time job and it should not leave you feeling drained.
I choose real life because that’s what inspires me. My babies are growing so quickly and I don’t want to miss any of it. I may not have 10,000+ Instagram followers, but in ten years I won’t regret spending time with my children… I would regret getting wrapped up in a world that ultimately leaves me feeling defeated and overwhelmed.