Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Social media, as I write this online, can be a plague. But it can also be an amazing medium of communication, which is why I write this here.
We all look on in envy as the class clown from schools gets that promotion, old neighbours you grew up with are getting married and having kids, and you watch on, almost investing in their life like it's reality TV as they post photos of their own kids growing up. You might sit there and feel bad about yourself, maybe you don't, maybe you're happy. Good for you. But what I want you to remember is that all is not as it seems, at least not for a lot of people.
In early February of 2017 my marriage split. In the same month one of my ex boyfriends got engaged. Ironic right? But it got me thinking. Some people may have looked on in envy as I too splashed my supposed happy family life across social media, the could-be-perfect life for my old pals to envy. What is this need to publicise? The need for likes, congratulations, approval? I'm still guilty of putting my selfies (when I eventually choose the right angle) through a couple of apps and filters before I upload, god forbid someone spots an imperfection. So I do realise that this post is somewhat hypocritical but I'm speaking in hindsight on the portrayal of my life.
So what happened then when we split? I disappeared. I deactivated most of my social media accounts including Facebook. What would people think now? I'll have to remove and detag photos, memories, life events, relationship status... my perfect social media life. I'm sure people wondered and maybe some of you are still wondering, what happened between them? Just over 3 years ago they were posting their newlywed smiling faces and their honeymoon paradise, where is that life gone that we invested so heavily in through likes and comments and pictures and statuses?
I'm not saying we should be posting our screaming matches and drunken tears on Snapchat to balance it out. But why the perfection? "Take down that photo now I look so fat!" I am guilty of saying. Some of us think we are keeping in touch with old friends, but what we are really doing is sitting behind our screens, judging people's lives as they are portraying them to us, rose tinted or not. The funniest thing is that the people we no longer talk to and haven't for years continue to clog up our news feeds and we let them, we added them to our "friend" or follower list. Guilty! Have you ever walked by one of your Facebook friends on the street not knowing whether or not you should say hi and they don't even make eye contact? I have.
When something like a marriage split m happens in your life, you realise who your real friends are, I can count them on my fingers on one hand. Why? I stopped portraying what I thought people wanted to see, and I just lived my real life, in real life during the year of the split. Sure, this post may bring lots of likes and hearts and I'm sorry I didn't knows, and that's lovely, I know you mean well but it's not what I'm posting for. This culture of self comparison that we ourselves have created is scary. Look up from your social media lives for a second, check in on your life, check in on others, and ask are you really ok hun? If you removed yourself from social media tomorrow who is left in your life? They are the ones that count, make them count.
There are lots of people who will be unhappy that I am posting this. When I wrote this it was only a couple of months after we split and it seemed like some kind of big reveal, some kind of exposure, taboo almost, which is why I decided to set up Mint Movement. I've always had the idea but never the courage to speak out about what happened or ironically, splash it on social media, but if anything I want it to help others help themselves. And know that you are not alone. As I mentioned above, social media is also a great medium of communication and if nothing else it brings people together and can be uplifting.
And if you really don't care, if this post means nothing to you at all, be honest with yourself and don't bloody give it a thumbs up!