‘You know, Nim, all this social media makes me sad’.
I wasn’t too surprised when I heard this person say these words, because I have always suspected that social media does play a part in causing occasional misery.
When I asked her why, she said that seeing how happy everyone else was in all the photos they posted made her question her own life and think how boring it seemed in comparison. Each day, she would quietly log in, see her friends’ posts where they were on exotic holidays, having the time of their lives and by the time she had logged out, she was feeling down in the dumps and almost depressed about how miserable her own life was. She found that being on social media actually made her less satisfied with all aspects of her own life.
You know what, I really believe that her problem is not unique. That there are many many people out there who make themselves miserable because of what others post. Keeping up with others is putting unnecessary pressure on many people. They want bigger houses, fancier cars, expensive holidays….Why?…Well, it seems everyone else around them seems to be having the same, so why not them? This is leading to an increase in inferiority complexes and a sharp decline in peace of mind.
If you know of someone who feels desolate after reading others’ cheerful updates, what I’m about to say might be of some help to them. Please tell them that people only post about happy events. Most people will never mention on social media the argument they had with their spouse the night before OR the time they were made redundant from their job OR when their children failed to make it into a selective school OR when they cried themselves to sleep because of a broken heart. Sadness and happiness are part and parcel of everyone’s journey. No one is exempt from their share of heartaches. We all struggle, we all experience pain, we all fail at times, we all cry.
Please also remind them that feeling unhappy after having spent some time on social media is actually far more common than most people admit and that they’re not alone in this. I won’t ask them to overcome this tendency overnight because that’s practically impossible. But if it’s any comfort, please let them know that if they give themselves permission to view their own lives dispassionately, they will see how much they’ve achieved already, how so many wonderful people have loved them over the years and continue to love them to this day and they may finally recognise how truly blessed they are. Please also remind them that at the end of our days here on this planet, it’s not how much wealth we amassed or how many fancy holidays we enjoyed that’ll matter….At the end of our journey, what really matters is being able to say: “I may have lived an ordinary life. But I was loved by many who made me truly happy…And that’s something money cannot buy.”
Nim Gholkar, 2018
Copyright Nim Gholkar 2018 All Rights Reserved