Sometimes I wonder how “real” I am supposed to get here.
I mean so much of social media these days is about appearing a certain way, about appearing effortlessly confident, happy and successful. And I think a lot of the time I play along. I post pictures of myself that I like. I share good news. I telegraph the moments that feel the most joyful. But that’s definitely not the whole story.
There are so many layers to a life that never make it onto the internet. There are moments of heartbreak, of exhaustion, of loneliness, and anger. There is also quiet. There is introspection and stillness. And there are moments of boredom. I sometimes feel displeased with the place I’m in and want so badly to rush to the next thing, so much so that I almost miss out on the moment I’m living.
Sometimes I compare myself to other people. I look at other seemingly perfect lives, at careers that seem to be moving faster than mine, and I feel somehow inadequate. I use social media to validate these feelings.
But nothing is the whole story. I can see that from my own page. There is so much that is missing, so much that lies beneath every post, bad stuff and good stuff. You don’t see all of the tears, but you also don’t see all of the laughter. Many of the breakdowns are missing but so are the breakthroughs. There are highs and lows that go undocumented on all counts. And yet what I do post is truthful. The moments I share are real. The words I use are my own and they feel true.
If I really think about it, though it seems impossible, my social media is both inaccurate (because it is not a full, true picture of me or my life or how I feel about my life) AND at the same exact time, everything I share is absolutely accurate and honest and real. Somehow it can be both at once. It can be full of real moments and thoughts and feelings while also painting a picture that leaves out a lot of the full story.
And I kind of like that.
I like that there’s a part of my life that is just for me, that I have experiences with myself that are intimate and private. I like that sometimes I just want to live through a moment and not document it. I relish the fact that the feelings I feel inside of my life are mine alone.
I think if I don’t want to change the rules, then I have to learn to be ok with the game as it exists. I have to learn to avoid using social media as a comparative tool and refuse to use it as a barometer for the quality of my life. I have to remind myself to see other people’s pages as what they are: partial pictures of a whole reality, just as my page is one tiny piece of my reality. I must focus on connection, not comparison. I have to share my truths with abandon and leave the rest.
I want to connect. I want to share my music and do my best to have a positive impact on the world. Social media is a part of that. But my life is so much bigger than any one thing I do. And I ultimately can only live my life for one person. Me.