What did I just do?
Went abroad? I posted a photo on Facebook for friends to see they are not the only ones who travel.
Read a buzz book/watched movie everyone’s talking about? I reviewed it on Facebook for friends to see I was “in the know.”
Attended to a seminar? I didn’t forget to write about it on Facebook for my friends to see I learned on my own.
Nothing is awful here, except the desire to appear perfect, successful, and happy in the public eye. We post lies to make sure it matches other people’s lies.
We live in a society where competition and recognition matter: having a perfect marriage, a dream career, and an iPhone 7.
We agree to play these roles that have been represented by others and associate them with happiness. I tried to play by the rules and show others that I was classy and up to scratch.
A feminist who doesn’t want a husband and babies?
Anyone in a non-traditional relationship?
A girl with quirky habits, maybe?
People feel a desperate need to fix these “flaws” and shape us into a more familiar mold, thinking it will make us happier.
Isn’t that a reason we rarely, if ever, write Facebook updates or post pictures of the parts of our lives that suck?
If you ask me, I downplay undesirable traits or exclude them from my feed because I don’t want others to pity me or try to fix me. I would feel like a loser.
But isn’t that awful? Isn’t it more destructive to our personalities to follow the crowd?
Transformations come to those who aren’t afraid of losing a so-called “true” happiness, associated with playing common roles in a society. When we say “no” to long-established traditions, winds of change and freedom will make us different—but not necessarily unhappy.
So, don’t try to please others. Praise yourself for your thoughts, decisions, and deeds.
This is the way I’ve chosen to lead my life after great doubts and self-opposition.
This is the only way to find and accept our real selves.
Author: Lesley J. Vos
Image: Sydney Jackson /Unsplash
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Copy Editor: Emily Bartran
Social Editor: Leah Sugerman