Between Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or wherever else you’re looking, it’s pretty easy in 2019 to feel like you’re the only person failing dismally at nailing life. Even ‘relatable’ people like the great Bréne Brown get sucked up into the internet vortex – today, I saw an advert on Facebook of Brown hanging out with Russell Brand. As in the comedian / writer / podcast / whatever he’s decided to do today Russell Brand. What the?!
If you clicked on the headline of this article, I’m guessing you feel just like me: not quite sure where to go next in life. Too often, such a feeling is misunderstood – it’s not that life has thrown you one of those shitty, inconvenient twists… in fact, nothing is really wrong. Which of course, makes you feel even more puzzled because when you look at life as you know it, logically, it’s pretty decent. From the outside looking in, you’re cruising along on a privileged rollercoaster sipping coffees, smashing avo on toast and fake tanning.
But you can’t help feeling what you feel. Is the overthinking the cause? Maybe you’re just going through a difficult period. The problem is, it feels like you’ve been ‘going through the motions’ for far too long now. There’s a little bit of hesitation each time you allow yourself to be truly present… it almost feels like you’re suffocating but you don’t quite understand why.
Yet no one around you would even suspect that something is ‘off’.
You show up to work on time. You ask your friends all of the questions you should be asking. You pretend to listen. And then you do the same dance the next day. And then the one after. Repeat.
Where did these feelings come from? You feel like you’ve been swimming for so long, for so many years, and now those arms and legs are getting tired. The fatigue is all-encompassing. What once brought you joy too often now fizzles out and ends in bitter disappointment.
In many ways, I point the finger elsewhere as to why we’re all feeling this way. At the Instagram ads showing all of the bikini clad influencers rocking their summer body. At my ‘friends’ on Facebook who are apparently so happy socialising that they interrupt the overwhelming enjoyment to take a photo and tell the rest of us what a super good time they’re having. At the TV advertisements telling us that the latest wrinkle cream will make us young again (especially when modelled on a young woman who is clearly not even pushing well into her thirties).
In 2019, it’s incredibly easy to feel like you’re in a movie… but don’t think for one second that you’re the captivating lead character people invested their time and hard-earned money in to watch. You’re the background noise… those ‘extras’ the cashed up movie studio bosses don’t even bother paying in return for the privilege to be onscreen.
It would be refreshing to see people voicing their struggles but we are all too busy humming along to the beats society has set for us. And the irony isn’t lost on me for one second: I am too gutless to put my name to this article because of what it ‘could mean’ for my reality.
All of this technology and so many of us feel more alone than ever before. It’s not the technology, the blame lies with each of us. The people who will happily post on social media that 10 second snippet of happiness and omit the hours and hours of time and people who didn’t live up to expectation.
As people, there is no doubt we are incredibly skilled at one thing: keeping up appearances.
P.S: I know I’m not alone in my views, have your say below.