spoiler alert: you’re not a big deal.

And here we are, making it all about us. Time and time again, without fail. It’s just so easy. But what if we stopped doing all of that? Because spoiler alert: you’re not a big deal.

For some reason, we have to make sure we leave all the baggage, put on a mask and pretend like we have it all together. We have to dress a certain way, post the best picture out of the hundred we have taken and let everyone know where we’ve been and who we’ve been with. I mean, did you really go to Bondi if you didn’t post a picture of the Bondi Icebergs? #DoItForTheGram.

Real talk though. I do all of these things and more. One thing that I constantly tell myself is: “I don’t care what other people think”. But the funny part is that the one thing I know I tell myself, but don’t really mean is: “I don’t care what other people think”.

Yep, I’m a full-time people pleaser. To see perfectly curated social media feeds. To compare one lifestyle to the next. It’s no longer just a quick filter or photoshop, it’s “lifeshop”. We pick and choose the best parts and conveniently (intentionally) skip all of the heartache, the pain, and the daily struggles.

But why? To achieve what? To be happy, or to appear happy? 

For some reason, we often think we are a big deal (guilty)! But spoiler alert: you’re not. You matter, yes. I’m not trying to tell you that you don’t. But sometimes we need to be reminded that the world doesn’t, in fact, revolve around us.

We can get so big-headed and forget that there are other people struggling too. Other people that also matter. This world is so huge and I often forget how small I really am. It takes a whole lot of perspective, with a sprinkle of humbleness to really grasp it. You are no greater than any other individual. Likewise, your worth is no less. 

So here’s my question. What if?

What if we treated each other as if we were equals? Seeing anyone and everyone we came in contact with as a human. Race, gender, religion, sexuality, personal history, job, income – all of the nitty gritty things aside – human.

What if we acted as silhouettes, stripping away the facade? What if we were raw and authentic? Imagine what the world would be like if we were all genuinely ourselves? We would see each other’s mess and not only accept it, but empathise, because we would know that other people are going through a difficult time, too.

What if we didn’t judge people we had never met, let alone friends, through our screens? What if we stopped using social media as a grading system; as a way to measure up to other people? What if we acknowledged and appreciated each other’s flaws, rather than criticise them?

What if we stripped it all away and uplifted, encouraged and empowered one another? What if we stopped picturing brokenness as a sign of weakness, but rather that of strength and perseverance?

Ha, what if.

Keep smiling. x

How to be happy: rule #1

As a Communications student majoring in Digital and Social Media, it is safe to say that I spend a lot of time talking about, learning about and of course using Facebook, Instagram, you name it. The other day I was on Instagram and came across this quote:

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

It is so true. We are continuously trapped in this vicious cycle of comparing ourselves with other people. Simply thinking that their social media profile is full of amazing, flawless pictures automatically means that their life must be perfect and they’ve got it all together, right? Wrong.

I think we tend to forget how much of a superficial world we live in today. And I’m writing to myself here as well. Almost every picture you see is edited in one way or another. One filter can cover all the blemishes, or hey if you’re not wearing makeup that day, just resort to the old-fashioned black and white – they’ll never be able to tell. But this isn’t the main problem. Social media is a perfect way for us as individuals to share our life with others with a simple click of a button. The thing that we often forget, is that we only share what we want to share – we get to pick and choose what parts of our life other people get to see. This is the same for that girl, or guy, you have been stalking on Instagram for the last twenty minutes. We filter through (pun intended) the thirty-two almost identical selfies and pick the one we like the best.

Don’t compare your life with another person’s newsfeed. Just like you, they are probably only sharing the parts of their life that will get them the most ‘likes’. I am not saying this is a bad thing or you should delete all of your social media accounts because they are from the devil. If that was the case, I think I am studying the wrong degree. Rather, I want this to be an encouragement, even just for one person, to be open-minded and consider that what you are seeing doesn’t necessarily depict what is going on in their ‘behind-the-scenes’. Everyone experiences ups and downs in life, because spoiler alert – that’s life. Just because you’re not seeing it on their newsfeed, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. So next time you are scrolling through your different social media accounts, keep that in mind, because one of the best rules to being happy is to stop comparing yourself to others.

I heard a pastor say during his sermon the other day that although it is still an issue, money is no longer the primary roadblock getting in the way of our relationship with God. Instead, it is this growing trend of narcissism. WE ultimately drive the wedge further between God and us. 

“Don’t become so well-adjusted and conform to the pattern of this world that you fit into it without even thinking” – Romans 12:2 (NIV & MSG). 

We focus too much on ourselves that we forget that all of this is just temporary. The love of God and his promise of life with Him – now that’s something that lasts forever.

Keep smiling. x