The Problem with Social Media
I love social media.
I am always on the app store looking for the latest trends. I love Twitter- I love posting and reading people's tweets. I love Instagram and learning how people create amazing visuals or make amazing food recipes. Social media has allowed me to keep in contact with my friends from all over the world. Social media has grown this website. I am all about networking and meeting new people. I am not afraid to direct message people to hear their story and learn more from people I look up to in life. Social media can be a great tool for good.
Social media can be a tool for evil as well.
We can create a mask or a facade about where our life is versus the reality of our life. When I started to write about depression, that nearly broke the internet because so many people saw me as happy and that I had my life together. Not that I am a hot mess, but sometimes with forced positivity, we do not see the reality of people's lives away from the screen. I have tried to be as transparent as possible by writing about my struggles, the facts of my life, and the lessons that I am learning.
I bring this topic up because the other day I was talking to my friend and the person said, "You are dancing in Austin, right?" My response was, "Yes! I am in Austin, living the dream." My friend's response was, "it most certainly looks that way--your life out there seems incredible! Glad you get to live your dream!"
I stopped and thought for a long time.
I am in no way saying that this response was rude or wrong. But read this reply one more time.
"it most certainly looks that way--your life out there seems incredible! Glad you get to live your dream!"
My life is incredible, I will not argue with that but the words "seems" and "looks" really hit me.
What is truly my life versus what my life seems from other people's perspectives?
I try to share a message of hope that anything is possible. Hope towards a greater life and life filled with joy and happiness. I am a pretty positive guy, even when I was depressed, I believed I could overcome my pain. The reality is, living your dream is hard! Is it rewarding? Yes. Living your dream does not mean it is a life of fantasy and leisure.
It is so easy to be on social media and compare ourselves. We see people's best, and we compare it to our mediocre, our everyday life, and our real life. Maybe we get discouraged because we aren't where we want to be, but that other person seems like he/she has it all figured out. But that is a bunch of garbage because we all have real lives with real struggles and real demons. Even the people with lots of money and fame and millions of followers deal with the same existential questions. Those big names also have demons they are fighting. My writing about depression is a testament to that statement because I was in the middle of my first year as a professional ballet dancer- my dream -and I was hit with some of the darkest times of my life. Was I still living my dream? Yes- but it was a difficult period for me.
My life may SEEM incredible from what I post- but I have struggled. I can feel lonely. I can question my faith in God. I can wonder where my future will go and what will be the next step in my career. I say all this because I am living my dream, but there are realities to the dream that may not be shared all the time. I want to be authentic and genuine with where I am at in my life- hence I write here on this blog. I am no different than anybody else. I am just a 21 year old trying to navigate life and pursue my passions.
My fear is that people look at social media and see people living their dreams and see the fun and the happiness without seeing the hardships. The reason why that makes me afraid is that people may not pursue a dream because it does not feel the way they imagined it by what it SEEMS to look like on social media. Do not let social media take you down. Allow it to inspire you to see where you can go in your life and what you might want to do in the future.
Thanks for the love and continual support! Currently, I am in a great space in life. I feel spiritually restored, happy, excited for the future. If this changes, I will let you know because I want to bring you along my full journey as I live my dream.
I know I just ranted about social media but let's connect! I want to hear from you!