What do you use when you want to interact with the world? To meet people you normally would never be able to meet, to hear things you never would have heard, to befriend people you never would have befriended? What do you use when you want to reach out to someone, to connect with someone -- or multiple someones at the same time?
You use social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr -- all those sites we use day after day, the sites that make up social media as we know it. They allow you to reach out with the wider world, to show dozens, hundreds, or even millions of people who you are. That you exist.
But the thing about social media is that you’re only getting one piece of the puzzle.
It’s easy, really easy, to look at the lives of the people online and think, “What am I doing wrong? Why am I not as happy, not as successful as everyone I ever knew?”. You start looking all around you: at everything you’ve ever accomplished, at all the regrets you have and at all the mistakes you’ve made, just to end up with the conclusion that you’ve come up short. That you’ve messed up. That there should be something wrong with you as long as you are not as happy or as fulfilled as everyone else you see online.
And you start to feel ashamed of these imperfections, these mistakes and these fumbles. But then again, you go online and put on a happy face. You smile in photos, you emit certain things about your life, you talk about all the amazing things that have happened to you throughout the week, but you are still avoiding showing any signs of imperfection. You fake it, your happiness and fulfillment.
And you do this, all the while not knowing that everyone else is doing the exact same thing.
People only show a small piece of themselves in social media, the piece that they want you to see. The doubts, the mistakes, the regrets, the little problems that you encounter - they all have them too. They just don’t show them because of the same reasons you do. Because they’re ashamed of all the “darker” aspects of their life.
But you shouldn’t feel afraid. You shouldn’t feel the need to be ashamed of your imperfections and mistakes. Because out there, among the millions upon billions of people who use social media, there are people just like you. People who’ve gone through the same situations made the same mistakes, have the same imperfections. People you can relate to, who can prove to you that there is a silver lining. That there is hope.
It’s needless to compare yourself to the people you see online. Because as perfect as they may seem, they’re just like you.