There are days in my life that turn out to be more eventful than others. Days that completely deviate from what has come to be my norm. Days when I have to pull out my iPhone to capture every moment on camera to make sure I’ll have the experience in pixelated-form forever so that I can reminisce about it long after it’s passed. Days that reassure me that life does not always have to be all work and no play. Days like that, though, are rare. For the most part, my life right now is all about work. My life is relatively calm and steady and drama-free. My life is what some may consider terribly mundane. This becomes glaringly apparent to the public when I share pieces of my life on social media.
A few people who follow me on Snapchat have told me—in so many words—that my Snapchat posts are boring and predictable. Despite a deep, burning temptation to do so, I don’t bother putting up an argument with them because their opinions of how my life looks through the lens of Snapchat are not worth trying to refute or change. At the same time, I do not apologize to them or try to make them understand the general uneventfulness that is my life because I know that such opinions only come about when my life is being compared to other peoples’ online lives.
People whose lives are arguably more riveting to look at than mine. People whose everyday existence is believed to be just so extraordinarily good that it garners them thousands of social media followers. People whose lives are presumed to be perfect. People whose lives are thought to be untarnished by trials and tribulations. People whose grass is thought to be the greenest of green.
What’s happened, I think, is that these people have mastered the art of filtering their lives so expertly that it now seems to those of us looking in that their lives are not only better than our own, but that their well-curated lifestyles cropped into perfect Instagrammable squares should be the standard by which we judge the lives of all others.
And this should not be so. And yet, this is exactly how it is. This is what we do. This is who we have become. This is where we are right now.
And it sucks because we keep crying out for authenticity on the Internet. We keep telling people to be their true selves online, to pull back the curtain and to show us their real lives, but then when we see it, we fail to recognize it for what it is and we call it by a different name.
Ugh, she’s at her regular ass job again?
Damn, does she ever party on weekends?
Dress up and go on dates?
Travel with friends?
OMG, her life is so boring!
We have fully convinced ourselves that normal is now boring. That if one does not own the hottest handbag or have a handsome husband or a cute kid that her life is not worth sharing on the Internet.
Perhaps when we say that we want more authenticity online, what we’re really asking is for people to post Instagram pics and Snapchat stories and Facebook statuses that help us to forget how truly ordinary our own lives actually are.