Social media is becoming the only way to actually prove you’re doing something with your life.
Or at least is that not how we are all acting?
I am currently walking around the streets of Wanaka, New Zealand, after having just driven through the most beautiful landscaped views of vast mountains and water that welcomes you into this stunning lakeside town.
I’ve recently realised that everywhere I’ve been in New Zealand, even to the point when I’m on the road driving and see a little brown sign declaring history or a lookout view point, I pull over, along with everyone else, hop out the car, grab the camera or phone, take a quick snap and then up and leave, without giving it even a second thought to linger in the environment and be able to connect properly with what the majestic sight in-front offers me emotionally.
We are all guilty for it and we all do it.
We a leading population of visionary people who are living blindly through a lens, calling it a memory.
I was aware that during my travels I had been posting a huge amount on Instagram, but I wasn’t thinking anything of it, as it was a way of showing everyone back home what I was up to and a way to contact one another, or so I told myself in order to make my arrogant broadcasting acceptable.
Then later one evening in the campsite, I met an auzzie chick who helped snap me into reality with the numbed mind-set I was living in, and I was reminded with just how unhealthy it is to be suctioned into the social status.
I thank the universe that they blew her into my direction, after our inexplicit time framed conversation about life, technology and being aware of being in the moment, my thoughts spiralled into a whirlwind as to why I was seeking so much attention and who was I trying to prove something to?
In all complete honesty, I think all of our reasoning behind posting so much on social media will result in the fact that we want validation from our followers, and to prove we are succeeding in an avenue of life we proclaim to want.
But is that literally it?
I began to think about it and delved a lot deeper within the thoughts as to why I was so eager to get the nearest wifi spot when I felt I had accomplished all I could in my day, all in order to add another update to my page, for people to like and comment on my newly achieved experiences.
It’s the fear that if I don’t capture it, no one will see or know all the beautiful things I’ve been to and done, resulting in like it’s never happened.
And that’s when I realised, I was living my life and my travels for the appreciation of other people to approve. How sad is that?
I came out here thinking I was so head strong and so rightly directed with what I felt, because I had cut my ties with my job and I didn’t have a partner to think about, but if anything, I’ve become worse.
The fear of him, his friends or family all looking up my Instagram to take pity on the life I am living without him, was a huge factor as to why I was projecting so much time into generating the “positives”, I felt more of an unsettled fear that I would attract added judgement if I didn’t exploit all the friends and incredible things I have been up to, when actually, it screams the complete opposite and makes it declare the reality that I have been applying more time into my news feeds more than my moments I’m living.
I care so much what other people think of me that it dawned on me, by being so engulfed in social media I wasn’t even living my life fully.
I was merely participating whilst ignorantly liquefying all feelings I possibly could for the place in-front of me.
My Instagram page shows the mileage I’ve done all across the two islands through having the rental car, it shows the friends I’ve made along the way and the days that have been spent with an indescribably breath-taking view, to all the places I’ve visited, because, that’s what I want everyone to see. I want everyone to think I’m happy and loving life 100% of the time, but the reality is, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies.
Because, behind closed doors I’ve had a few spells where, day after day I don’t meet anyone, I don’t make any new friends and I’ve spent the evenings in the silence of my thoughts longing to talk to someone other than myself, resulting in me questioning everything I gave up to be here.
A few times on the road when I’ve known I’ve got a big drive ahead, so tried to hype myself up with enthralled enthusiasm for my newest venture, mooing at the cows and singing along to the very little radio signal I get from the white noise crackling stereo, but, I don’t show the drives were I’ve been so tired I’ve had to pull over and nap on the side of the road, or when I see no people (or cows!! ) what so ever for the whole duration of the drive, sometimes that can be up to four hours, to then get to a village which is a dead town and no one is around, but I’m too tired, or lost to want to keep going and I feel honestly fed up, starting to question if everyone’s experience of travelling has these blips, or if I am the problem?
Or the fact I’m not used to not having company or people to be around, so when it’s a long stint I find it really hard and spend the evening cooped up and bursting into tears, because I feel so agitated with being lonely, even though I always project how comfortable I am within my own company.
I’ve only really felt like that maybe 4 times in the whole summary of the trip? but its 4 times that I’ve had nothing else to rely on other than the validation of others to boost my mood… usually by speaking to someone from back home, instead of venturing out of that comfort zone and piping up a genuine conversation with someone around me, my head gets suctioned into the bright light of my phone and suddenly, all is well because I’ve told someone how I’m feeling and I hear the words “ You shouldn’t take where you am for granted , people would kill to be in your position”. I’m fully aware of the latter, but why the need to declare my sadness to someone in order to hear exactly what I am already thinking? Because I need others validation.
Facebook, snapchat, Instagram…it’s all a bragging site, we put up pictures that are a modification to this perfect moment we want to be associated with living in.
We write a caption that allows us to sound effortlessly intelligent or immensely interesting, yet it’s taken you possibly more than 30 minutes to piece together, after having re written it so many times to get the perfect subtitle. We want our posts to come across naturally, yet there is nothing honest or genuine about that. We then constantly keep refreshing our page to see who’s liked it and who’s looked at our latest story, feeding the validation we needed to be at peace with what we were doing in the first place.
Today is a day I realised enough was enough.
“My awareness came to my value of privacy, of cultivating my circle and only letting in certain people. We can be open, honest, and real while still understanding that not everyone deserves a seat at the table of your life.”
It got me thinking why this is the way we are swaying to lean towards… my personal summary is our vulnerability.
Why being vulnerable has an attachment of pity and negativity I don’t know. Being vulnerable means you’re at your most alert of what you have and what you can lose, it’s life’s truest gambling emotion to feel.
You feel vulnerable because you are out of control of other people and your environment, yet you’re guided into the arena of life with the crowds of judgement and perception awaiting your every move.
Today, I decided being vulnerable went from doing something that makes you feel silly, to me deciding to accept that I can’t uphold expectations of every moment connected to my past or future, and the quicker we all realise this, the quicker we allow our mentality to encourage vulnerability within the present, and hopefully the easier it will be for all of us to minimise the expectancy of validation.
I want to be vulnerable and I want something to be so powerfully resonating to me and my life that its worth sharing to others, not because I feel I need to stay in the loop of social media, like everyone else does with updates on what’s happened daily.
With only two weeks left of my New Zealand trip I want to well and truly submerge into my surroundings and become wholly emulsified within the feelings they project onto me, because, when I’m ancient it will be my thoughts, feelings and memories which are what I’m left with and I want to make sure I’m 100% happy with what I remember.
We don’t have to get rid of or delete the apps that make us this crazy, ignorant, stoop necked, techno worshipper, we merely need to take the time to becoming more attentive to what the purpose of it all is and increase the will power to focus on generating a mind-set that heartens the correct influence of what we decide to project to the rest of the world.
The wisdom of my sister is always appreciated and on this basis, when I hit a low it’s even more welcome.
Her guidance was to take all the pictures in the world because she knows how much I love having pictures to look back on, but just to devote extra time after that to take in the moment I was focusing on.
She also proposed to cut down to doing a post a week, perhaps on a Sunday, to embolden a summary of my week, choosing my 3 -5 favourite pictures, that way I’m really considering what my favourite moments where and what I’ve enjoyed the most.