The Social Media Effect on Following Your Dreams
What They Don't Tell You About Following Your Dreams
People all over this entire world, either through inspirational Instagram posts or through their colorful Pinterest boards, tell you to wake up to a life worth living. Like it's just that simple. Those same people tell you to get a job that makes you jump out of your bed before your alarm even rings.
I am here to call bullshit.
Don't get me wrong, I get it, people out there are extremely happy with their lives and truly jump out of bed and are ready to take on their day. But, society, through the use of social media, has gotten this idea in our heads that happiness should be a constant.
That you should constantly be happy with yourself, family, friends, bosses, coworkers, and so on. That your life should radiate this positivity that people can feel a mile way.
I am here to tell you that's also what we call...bullshit.
Following your dreams isn't a one way path with arrows pointing to the perfect direction, double rainbows, and pugs waiting to be pet. Making your dreams happen is freaking hard. You wake up doubting yourself and you might hate the decision you've made.
I'm here to tell you, that's freaking okay.
The Grass isn't Always Greener on the Other Side of the Phone Screen
As a person who has lived abroad and has gotten the occasional message about how lucky I was that I was fulfilling my dreams, I personally want to apologize.
I want to apologize for making it look "lucky", "easy", or "better than". I feel like I put this persona on my social media that moving across the world was pretty easy and it did not take much thought or effort. I sat there taking these extremely non-candid photos to make my Instagram page look pristine. I only put the image forth of happiness and positivity. When people ask, "How was Korea?", I only tell them the great and never the bad.
The idea of having friends and family thinking that we made it makes most of us genuinely happy. The life we portray on social media may be 100% real or completely altered to fit our vision of perfection.
I firmly believe social media was created as an alternative path of communication to bring the world closer, not further apart. Yet, it has. It has set these unattainable standards of living.
"This fitness model did that last summer and this person traveled while working all of this year."
The American Dream has grossly transformed over the last couple decades due to a variation of things but most importantly, the invention of social media. But at the end of the day we all yearn one thing: happiness. According to RT.com, "Happiness and life satisfaction in US adolescents increased between 1991 and 2011 — but suddenly declined after 2012". (Ryan, 2019) You guessed it, right after the social media hype really got going.
What you see on social media is a filtered life created behind a person's thumbs. You do not know what they are going through. You definitely do not know their definition of happiness and they do not know yours.
So stop thinking happiness as this constant and start constantly trying to create a life that leads you to the best version of yourself.
The grass isn't always greener on the other side...of that phone screen.
Remember, life is hard. Everyday does not have to be a defining moment, it can be a learning curve or simply just a shitty day.
Put your phone down and make sure you are living a life you want to live. Not a life that you think people want you to live.
There will hard days just like there will be magical ones. You'll cry, you'll laugh, you'll cry from laughter. Don't let this new digital world make you believe you are anything less for being unhappy. Without those days that bring us to the ground we would not know how to appreciate the ones that go in our favor.
"If we had no winter the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
- Anne Bradstreet