“But in telling the truth, you choose among many true stories which true story to tell.” -John Green in ‘Framing’
After taking a little break from social media after the holidays, I found myself starting my Monday morning, for a lack of better words—unmotivated and uninspired. Dragging myself out of bed and into the shower that day was such a chore. These feeling continued from that morning until this very moment when I watched this video. In this discussion, John Green opens the conversation on the person we portray on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, versus the person we are in real life, and ties this all in with our mental health.
I could’ve started this blog out by saying I had the most beautiful Easter break! Described my hiking adventures, the new classes I tried with Oranj Fitness in preparation for Miss Teenage Canada, or the delicious meals I ate and cooked over Easter with family. I very well could’ve told you those stories, and even though its all true, it’s not the pretty story I’m deciding to share tonight. Those stories are my highlight reel. In actuality, I spent this week and a half taking care of myself with some self love. I redecorated my room, applied for a job, did laundry, homework, and binge-watched some Netflix. Although these things may not be ‘like’ worthy, they were what I needed for my mental health at this time.
It’s interesting to me how we can look an individual’s social media feed and automatically dissect who they are. If you looked at my Instagram, you wouldn’t know that in grade 7 I dyed my hair blue. Take a peek at my Facebook, there’s no tell tale signs that I ever played guitar. Wanna stalk my Twitter? You’d have no idea that I live with a mental illness everyday. We look and peer onto others social media like it’s their world, like we know them personally. When really, there’s so many qualities about another person that you cannot pick up on social media unless they allow you to.
Having the ability to peer into someone’s online world, judge it and completely dehumanize an individual thus leads to the cyber-bullying phenomenon that so many are struggling with currently. From comparing ourselves to our fellow Instagrammers (guilty,) to now spewing insults without the fear of repercussions, the online world can be a scary and harmful place.
Among all the negativity on the internet, there’s so much love and support when you really dig deep. With Instagram accounts like my personal favs @selfcaresunday, and @omgkenzieee you can combat those urges to compare your beautiful self next to another and be reminded on an app you look at everyday that you are so worthy, even at your messy bun, sweat pants and no makeup moments.
Take a breath, keep hydrated, do the not so snapchat worthy chores like laundry on your Easter break, and remember that you can admire someone else’s beauty without ever questioning your own.
From your perfectly—imperfect, Miss Teenage Western Alberta 2017