The moment I wake up, before I even drink water, I hunt down my phone. And that's when it all starts: the personal messages to reply to, the I-woke-up-like-this update on my Snapchat story and scrolling through my Facebook feed extensively and ultimately ending this vital morning ritual with Instagram.
And the thing is that it's pretty much the vital routine every millennial follows.
Once we've looked at everyone's updates, we gauge how much fun everyone else is having and then look at our own lives which seem so colourless compared to all our Facebook and Instagram 'friends'. The next step to counter this feeling of having a dull life is to put out forced updates with colleagues or with something as random as flowers just because you need to tell the world you're having just as much fun.
And these days, meeting friends is only worthy of our time if we're taking pretty selfies. No matter how much of a disaster the Friday night was or how much you had to coerce friends into meeting up, there has to be a post about it and it has to go up with #Friyay.
Because you didn't have a fun Friday if you didn't post about it, did you?
Going for a trip? Well, managing to plan one trip turns us all into travellers. Even if we're going to the most commercial destination, we have to take a photo of the sunset and play around with the natural beauty by adding at least three filters. The next thing to do is couple it with a quote about how wanderlust wouldn't let us rest and finally, adding #travelislife.
If none of your Insta followers know about your trip, did you even find yourself on it?
Social media is all about appearances these days that are increasingly blurring the line between real and virtual.
What we see on our screens is what we take for reality. Somehow, our virtual life seeps into our real one and the scary part is that there is no way to tell a difference. What's worse is how we make assumptions about people's lives based on social media but that is all right because they're doing just the same for us.
If a couple isn't posting photos together, they're not happy, or
If a person has posted a happy photo after a break-up, they automatically become an a**hole.
And that boy who is going to the gym is obviously taking steroids.
Oh, by the way, that girl posts too many photos with boys and that speaks for her assumed active sex life.
Without even realizing it, we're giving too much power to our social media. We're letting it run our actual lives.
Instead of going about things in reality, they've come to be heavily determined by our behaviour online. For example, when a couple actually gets serious about their relationship, they jump to their Facebook to change the relationship status and if you're friends, you need to give each other long posts or you might just face a long confrontation by them.
We're all just in the same boat, trying to tell the world we're having fun while the reality has really just ceased to matter. You could be happy or sad, but you will choose the right picture with the right filter to let the world know that you're doing not only fine, but greater than all of them.
In fact, this culture of competition has systematically messed up our brains. We check our phones constantly to see how many people viewed our story, we strategize how to increase followers and get upset when our latest update doesn't get as much attention as we'd thought it would.
In the middle of this crazy obsession, what we really need to realize is that we're out of touch with our actual emotions.
We need to tell ourselves that it is absolutely alright if it wasn't a #Friyay, it's fine if someone else went for a trip and captured the beautiful hills and it's okay to appreciate couples who post about themselves rather than mop about our own single status. Don't analyze your own life in terms of another person's. Everyone is completely different and you don't have to compete with anyone, even on social media.