I’ve been living my life for the like.
I’ve been meticulous in my status updates, not too many deep ones, just enough laugh out loud moments and an influx of boyfriend and dog photos so people think my life is perfect.
I’ve been steady on my filters, just the right amount before my nose disappears to white, and of course I never use Nashville.
I’ve made my drunken escapades a reality show of 10 second videos.
I’ve been deleting the embarrassing 1 like posts, the should-have-thought-that-through arguments and the unflattering photo tags.
I’m addicted to the feeling that people like me and that I am, in an online capacity, relatively popular. I’m addicted to the feeling that people are interested in my life and I’m addicted to feeling that my life is important to someone else.
I know I’m addicted to Facebook, I’m verging on addicted to Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. I’m addicted to the friends online who talk to me daily and tag me in things they know I’d like. And yet, consistently, the top message feeds in my iPhone are family members, my fiancé and work colleagues. I can vouch that if dogs could text my top message would forever be him, but where are the 650 other people I have on socials?
I’ve been this way with websites since I was in high school. My life revolved around getting on MySpace to see how many PC4PCs I had and changing my MSN screen name to an emotional song lyric while signing in an out so the right people would see my name pop up and talk to me. I’m sure older generations will read that and roll their eyes. They’ll think “how pathetic,” but frankly that’s just the life of a Gen Y. We have spent our lives growing up on the Internet, it should be no surprise we are all addicted to the apps and WWWs that lead us to a life where we feel included by someone.
At a particularly hard time in my life one of the only places I found similar minded people was online. Everyone in my life seemed to go toward one way of thinking, while I was the opposite. The Internet is a nice place when you look for the right things. The rest of the time it’s a bottomless pit of wondering if your opinion is correct on any number of subjects and if you have enough patience to deal with people bringing you down at every corner of social media.
I’ve been living my life in comparison to people who are fighting deep battles, deeper than mine, but I would never know. How would I? All I know is their perfect picnics and throwback wedding photos.
My battles begin offline, like yours. I wake up in the morning and look at my face and pick at spots, I pull at my flabby belly, I straighten my nose even though it bounces back, I hide my forehead with my hair, I hope the stretch marks will be white not purple that day, and most importantly I judge my self worth by the number on the scale. Then when I go online I am faced with the harsh reality that I am still average looking, of average weight, of average height. I have drop dead gorgeous best friends, and I am trying to make people laugh so they pay no attention to my thighs. Maybe my status or blog is not average! Maybe if I get 60 likes on the over exposed photo people will think I am more than average!
The truth is though when someone comments “you are looking so great these days” I read “you looked bloody awful before.” When someone comments “loving the new hairdo” I read “hated it before!” When someone asks “have you lost weight?” I think “should it matter? Was I embarrassing to have around before?” How self centered am I to think that’s what people are thinking?
So I’m staying off all my socials, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, for a month. I deleted the apps and I’m forcing my muscle memory to not write ‘www.f…’ In the URL box as soon as I open Chrome.
I’m fighting a self esteem battle that is triggered every time I click ‘sign in,’ so wish me luck