I love social media more than I care to admit. I love matching the perfect caption with a hip picture. I love taking a funny moment from my life, putting it into 140 witty characters and sharing the laughter with the world. I love knowing what’s going on in the lives of others through their posts.
I love social media so much that sometimes I find myself composing tweets in my head instead of paying attention in class or rewriting the same Instagram caption over and over, changing the most minute details to make sure it is perfect.
I always have that moment of hesitation before I share. I reread it, check for errors and then finally post it.
“I hope people think this is cool,” is what I find myself thinking.
I’m sure there is a handful of people who think my posts are cool. But then again, why wouldn’t they think something on my Instagram is cool?
My Instagram is the highlight reel of my life. It doesn’t broadcast the not-fun moments in my life.
I don’t want to tell the world about those lower moments. I don’t want to tell people about how crushed I feel when I find out the caf is out of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or how stressed I feel when I try to figure out what I’m going to do with my life.
And that’s OK. I’m not trying to say that everyone needs to post every time they burn their popcorn.
I am saying that we need to stop comparing our behind the scenes to others’ highlight reels. I have to remember that the people who post cool pictures on Instagram are real people, too. They have real highs and real lows in their life just like me. Comparing the dirty, raw parts of my life to someone else’s handpicked, perfectly-edited, cleverly-captioned post is unfair.
It is unfair to me because it gives me a false sense of how the world is for those I have surrounded myself with. It is also unfair to those whom I am obsessed with because I assign them an unrealistic standard that only becomes obvious when I get to know them on a real level.
This reminds me of “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Lion face many challenges just to have a chance to meet the wizard. They hope the wizard will make all their desires come true, and they trust that he has the ability to fulfill all their dreams.
They are shocked to find out that the one and only mighty wizard of Oz is, in reality, not very mighty at all. When the wizard realizes he has been discovered, he tells the four persistent adventurers, “I am just a common man.”
He is just like them.
And just like the man behind the curtain in the Emerald City wasn’t actually a wizard, no one’s life is as perfect as it appears to be on the Internet.
Find out who the person really is behind the Instagram filter. Get to know them on a deeper, more personal level, behind the mask of social media. You might like what you discover.