No one has to tell you that Instagram and Facebook are the biggest components to depression in youth today. It’s an understood fact. Yet, we cling to and embrace these sites to give us what we can’t buy – internal happiness.
Pinterest has made us obsessed with boho-chic, farmhouse style mansions and perfect cake pops for our 1-year-old’s birthday. We count followers, we count pounds, we count calories and we count dollars. We weigh our worth with our weight, popularity, and lifestyles…We live in the most privileged country in the world. Yet, our suicide rate is the highest it’s been…ever.
Where did we go wrong?
Contrary to popular belef, I don’t think it’s wild-eyed jealousy making us and our generation shrink into the rabbit hole of crippling depression and anxiety. I think it’s our dissatisfaction within ourselves.
Even as an adult, I’ve gotten to deal with straight up meanness and bullying on social media about a disease I didn’t choose. Straight up rejection, name calling, all of it. And I let that affect me for way. too. long.
We’ve made the mistake of letting our happiness lie in Pinterest boards and Lose It! goals, Instagram messages and #couplegoals hashtags. We are constantly surfing the information stream of “bigger, better, thinner, faster, more perfect, more aesthetic…” to no avail. We cannot make our own happiness.
What is happiness to you?
When I think of happiness it honestly makes me sad. I think of all the moments I’ve missed being hurt and constantly wondering if I’m good enough for my husband, or how I’ll compare as a mom to my son, due to being behind a glass screen for hours at a time and freaking out about my nonexistant ‘performance review.’
Aesthetic and followers can’t replace the look your child gives you after a nice warm bottle and bath. It can’t change how you feel about yourself, always wanting to be thinner, better, smarter. It can’t be better than the feeling of your spouse wrapping you in a hug after a long day at work, gently playing with your hair in his fingers.
Picture your perfect life. Think about all the hours you’d have in the day to plan, prepare, and live out that “perfect” life right where you’re sitting if you’d just put the phone down and stop the comparisons. It is so refreshing to just hit the “unfollow” button on the accounts you could never measure up to.
Think of all the time you could have spent talking to your friend who you haven’t spoken to in awhile, whose secretly dealing with crippling depression, GAD, OCD, and other issues you may not have known about. Bless them today.
Think of the time you can spend watching your baby blossom in front of you, cooing and smiling and playing with his hands.
Think about the laughs you can have with your significant other, playing videogames on the living room floor in PJ’s and sharing a pizza after the kid goes to bed.
These nameless moments are real, tangible happiness. I promise the more you seek out opportunities and create happiness in your life, the more at peace you’ll be.
In a world where fakeness is celebrated, be authentic and find what makes you passionate and want to jump for joy. Embrace what you can bring to the table in life, and in other’s lives. Live for yourself and not the filtered Instagram squares. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.