If you look for me on Instagram you won’t find me. Ditto for Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. Really, any social media platform beside VSCO because that’s where my pictures are hosted.
Why is this? I’m eighteen, young and, in my personal opinion, you can keeps yours to yourself, reasonably athletic. So why wouldn’t I want to follow say, soccer players? Or lifestyle design specialists? Or creatives and writers and inspiration Instagram accounts?
There’s two reasons that immediately jump to the fore of my mind: for one, someone once told me that if you’re taking a picture of an event, that means you’re not enjoying it. Think about it; why would someone who was truly having a good time take a picture to show other people they’re having a good time? If I’m having a good time I’m in the moment, I’m there — no distractions and definitely not thinking about when it’s socially acceptable to whip out my phone to post about how much fun I’m having.
This concept made sense right away — literally, my Snapchat story from the day before was of me having fun in the car with one of my buddies singing a Taylor Swift song. It wasn’t my proudest moment, but it also looked like we were having a great time. The thing was, I vividly remember even today, years on, that my day was going torridly.
Yet it’s so easy to give the impression you’re having the time of your life.
And that kind of leads into part two: compare-schlager. Credit Marie Forleo. To know what compare-schlager is, look at this picture.
That’s Goldschlager. And according to Marie Forleo, it’ll fuck you up. And make your poo have little flecks of gold in it.
Do you want to know what else will fuck you up and also make you feel like shit for up to three days? Comparing yourself to other people. Compare-schlager. It’s clever, okay?
Marie Forleo talks about it in an interview she did with Chase Jarvis and her description was hilarious and apt. I know, because this exact sequence of events has happened to me. I’d go on the explore section of Instagram or to some popular person’s Instagram page. Just for a quick peek, right? No. I would scroll through pages of these people’s Instagram’s and conclude that my life was shit.
The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.
And then you go through the associated people’s links and you’re caught in this tidepool of insecurity and doubt. Honestly I would finish and be like, what’s the point? Might as well just go jerk off and watch Netflix and eat Cheeto’s. That’s what looking at people’s social media is like. Nobodies going to post something bad about themselves and so everyone develops this inflated perception of other’s lives.
It’s a pernicious cycle that feeds into low self-confidence and one day I decided you know what? My ego, self-worth, and inner self can not absorb this level of comparison each day and function.
Maybe you people are different but it’s impossible for me. So I deleted Instagram. Then eventually my brain realized, Hey, Snapchat actually makes me feel like shit also. I really don’t need it.
And then one day, all my social media was gone — no more compare-schlager and with work, I’m sorry but it does take work, I have the motivation to blog every day. And go work out. And sketch, and take pictures, and just live fucking life, man. Because there’s no way I’m going to do something awesome if my mind is fixed on that damn screen.
And really — I’m just so much better off. Some say you need social media to promote blogs and connect with friends.
My question is, is it worth your sanity?
Help send me to Southeast Asia! Here’s the link to my gofundme page, any help is appreciated. And if you send me your email, I’ll write you a personal note thanking you for your contribution