Well my friends, I checked my Instagram before I started writing this and I begun to see how fabulously spectacular everyone else’s lives look, compared to my humble existence today.
Sensational filtered food shots, glamorous selfies out on the town, an endless parade of people doing fabulous things and going to wonderful places while gazing into the Instagram sunset.
It would appear at first glance that compared to ‘everybody else’ I am pretty much having a horrible day but the philosopher in me wonders if this is actually true or just a whole lot of internet-induced smoke and mirrors.
The truth is, thanks to social media, we live in an edited reality.
It makes everyone’s grass seem green and well groomed but actually online, we are all just showing off the best bits.
Gone are the days where we took photos and waited a month to get them back only to find that our eyes were shut or we were looking a ‘lot different’ in that skirt than we had thought when we left the house, where we edited by ripping up the Kodak paper before our brothers could run off with that awful photo and show anyone else.
Now we take the shot and check and shoot again then we crop and edit and filter until we look our best.
We only add photos of things that make us look and feel good. I’m not saying this isn’t normal behaviour, nor that I don’t do this myself, but the distorted view of reality it gives can be very depressing when viewed from a perspective that doesn’t feel so rosy.
We could all be forgiven for thinking that our lives pale in comparison to the wonderful world of the social media updates of those around us.
So what’s the solution? Do I post photos of myself doing the dishes, awful selfies with terrible angles? Endless status updates about having a bad day?
Not necessarily. Personally I think that real gritty emotions are best shared in a more private forum, and while there is a place for supporting one another online I also believe that nothing replaces face to face or voice to voice communication to grow closer to one another.
Facebook is fun, Instagram can be interesting, but we must keep a level head and a clear perspective on how little of someone’s life we are really seeing. If they are just showing off the good bits, we must remember that they too have the bad bits along the way.
Don’t forget to reach out to your friends personally, use the convenient forum of the internet to arrange meetings and hangouts and get the chance to get below the surface.
Don’t forget that their lives are just as tedious as yours most of the time but they too are just showing a highlights reel to the world.
Don’t let your news feed rob you of all the little joys that are waiting for you today in your world.
Remember, if you edit out all the ‘bad stuff’ or the boring bits you may miss the tiny fragments of joy that will feed your soul today.
Stop. Breathe. Analyse this moment.
We are alive, we are awake. There are people that love us, there are people that need us. We live in a free country, there is a God that loves us on whom we can depend at all times.
Someone else’s grass will always appear greener, but as I look out my window I see that mine is covered in daisies. My father would of course suggest that means I haven’t mown the lawn, but I prefer to think that they are God’s free gift of a little bit of beauty in an otherwise grey day.
What unedited joys can you find today? May your lawn be blessed, even if it’s just with a few daisies. Xx JG