Is Instagram Ruining Our Lives?

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Haven’t posted for a while, and I was scraping my brain trying to figure out something I can write about. I don’t know if it is because I am busy, life is changing, or if I’m simply feeling uninspired. After thinking and debating, there is something I want to address: Instagram … it’s VERY deceiving. For some reason I just can’t seem to get that through my head. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Instagram, but it’s nothing but A LOT of smoke and mirrors and nothing is what it seems.

As young adults we are all on a continuous journey to find and love ourselves. Which is never going to happen if we keep trying to be a filtered standard of ourselves that isn’t even real! Sounds like some super messed up and unachievable shit. What does that say about what we think of ourselves and our goals in the first place? How can we achieve them when we don’t feel good enough to be ourselves, let alone to even want to be ourselves.

Here’s the harsh truth are you ready to hear it?

1.) Let’s be honest most of us are looking for validation.

2.) #BodyGoals – We see that hashtag almost every day on our Instagram timeline. Most likely, there will be a skinny pretty girl or boy in the picture with a flat stomach/abs. We’ve all seen it, and we’ve all wanted to be them at some point in our lives (Do not deny it, you know it’s true). So, are they really our body goals or is it just a silly fantasy that is bringing down our self-confidence? I don’t know about you, but social media has quickly destroyed my self-confidence.

3.) There’s this pressure to be “camera ready” at any given time of day.

4.) Instagram is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at when I go to bed – this is borderline an addiction.

What have I learnt from Instagram? Most girls want to be skinny, and guys want to look ripped, and if you don’t look like that, then you’re considered unattractive … harsh reality right? But let me break it down for you once more!

1.) NO ONE wakes up with perfect hair and skin. NO ONE eats on a terrace with a beautiful mountain view every morning. NO ONE has a perfect relationship full of gifts, hand holding, and adventures.

2.) Everyone wakes up with a zit the size of a mountain on their forehead every once in a while (guilty). Everyone spends a day in bed eating junk food and binge watching Netflix (guilty). Everyone argues with their significant other (not guilty #singleAF). Everyone has bad days, they just don’t post it on social media!!!

Quite frankly, Instagram is transforming us literally into our own worst critics. Believe it or not if you want. Rant over!

 

A Letter To My 12 Year Old Self

Hey 12 year old Sam,

I think about you often. Not only about your ideals, your naïve outlook on life, but also how you would see me. How proud you would be of me if we ever met. 

I remember back in grade 6 you had no comprehension of the big move you were about to embark on with your family. You had to leave all your friends behind and neglect everything you thought you knew about life, because life in America is VERY different. However, you were lucky to not be in that situation alone, having your twin sister by your side every step of the way. All throughout high school you struggled with fitting in and finding the right group of friends. Don’t worry, as you progressed through your formal education, you placed less importance on trying to fit in and impress people. 

I understand your hopes and aspirations. You believe in creativity, being good to people and trying your best. You think thinking positively can get you through almost anything, as long as you understand your limits. You want to be a Vet and you’ve been convinced your whole life you wanted to be one. I hate to break it to you but thats not the path you are going to take. I cringe at the sight of blood and dead animals. The introverted little Sam that loved animals is still there, but your confidence and love for people grew TREMENDOUSLY and has shifted your career focus to business and the service industry (weird right?).

Your struggle with weight and body image was so hard, and unfortunately you will still face that struggle 8 years down the track. You were bullied for being fat and queer at 12 and now it continues at 21 for being too skinny. It will be tough. Your life is still controlled by insecurities and fear, but your beliefs have evolved. You want to be good to people, but are afraid sometimes you haven’t been. You’re afraid to think positively because you know that somewhere, somehow, something will shut your positivity down. You quite often want the same things as others, but need to remember that comparing your life to others will always make you come up short in the end!

I can proudly say, you will SLOWLY start to care less about you insecurities. While both of us have feared rejection for the majority of our life, I’m starting to embrace it. I’m starting to realise that I will never achieve anything without being rejected. You will have your doubts when you experience the amount of the rejection you are going to face, but I assure you it will all make sense in the end.

At 21, your life has changed A LOT. You have a degree, you’ve worked at Disney World, you have a full time job with one of the largest hotel brands in the world and you have AMAZING friends. You’ve surrounded yourself with people who lift you up. Mum, Dad and Rebecca are all thriving in their careers as well and with their support, you’re finally going after the things you want! I’m happy because I’m trying. I’m learning not to turn down opportunities because I fear I’m not right for the job, or that I will fail. 

Remember that it’s okay to be different and to stand up for what you believe in. It’s okay to take things at your own pace. You have a wonderful, long, and eye-opening road in front of you. 

And as for me? I have plenty of time to make both of us proud.

Good Luck,

Your 21 year old self

P.S. Brace yourself for how sassy you will become, it will be one of your defining qualities 😉 

Update: August 2017

I just wanted to write a blog post to formally apologise for the lack of content lately. Sometimes life gets in the way of these sort of things and while I love it very much, sometimes it has to go on the back burner for a short time while I get my affairs in order. But I did want to write just to let you all know what I’ve been up to!

So since my last blog post, I have officially completed all my units within my bachelor degree and I will be graduating in November! University has been a four-year journey for me and I honestly couldn’t be prouder of myself. I really put myself out there in terms of making new friends and really challenging myself. University really helped me step outside of my comfort zone and master time management and organisational skills! At the end of the day, my degree is something that I now have and nobody can take that away from me! It’s all mine!

The biggest challenge I am currently facing after acquiring said degree, is finding a job. Don’t get me wrong I have a job and I love it dearly, however I am looking to progress in my chosen industry and that can only be achieved by continuing to push for a more professional role. A role that my degree has prepared me for. While there seems to be a lot of rejection in this initial stage of applying, I’m trying to just reassure myself there’s something out there and it’s all good experience. I am applying to jobs left right and centre and trying my best, so fingers crossed for that! 

I am making some very important lifestyle changes such as going to the gym more and changing the kind of food I eat. I’ve been experimenting with ‘vegetarianism’ for health reasons. I am currently very immersed in Game of Thrones (who isn’t), seriously one of the best season so far! Also being so busy with work, I’m trying to spend as much time with my family as I can. All of us work, so it’s very rare for all of us to have time together in the same room! I’m also trying to be as spontaneous as possible, indulging in shopping, weekend weekends away and trying nice restaurants! 

I think what I am beginning to learn as of late is, life is precious and life is short. We need to start living every day like it’s the last and to the fullest. Tell you friends and family you love them, eat that burger, post that selfie, DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING because tomorrow isn’t promised/guaranteed.