It seems, as of late, my Facebook and Twitter are nothing but wedding announcements, baby shower pictures and photo tours of nearly empty apartments sparsely decorated with Ikea’s finest. Don’t get me wrong, I too like to gloat about my latest accomplishment and achievements but are we all playing one big game of Keeping Up With The Kardashians Jones’? As most people know I am a Reality TV connoisseur and have discovered the gem that is Princesses: Long Island. For anyone unfamiliar with this program, it profiles a group of women in their late 20s/early 30s still living at home and looking to get married, start a business or find their own place to live…so basically where I hope not to be in 5 years. Not one episode goes by without tears and subsequent confessions of feeling inadequate generally brought on by another castmate’s engagement or a mother’s inquiry into a nonexistent love life. These tearful breakdowns used to elicit a good chuckle from me and thoughts that usually sound something like “what a loser. Who cares if your childhood bff is getting married?” until I wondered if we are all secretly throwing pity parties for ourselves every time someone posts their newest accomplishment for the world to see? Anyone will tell you no, but deep down we all feel a pang of defeat that we keep suppressed for fear of looking like a lunatic (although if that’s what it takes to become a Bravo star then sign me up for a few on-air meltdowns!). Whether or not we want to attain this same milestone as our friend at the exact same moment in our lives is moot. What matters here is that someone seems to be achieving something that you are not.
Let’s look, for example, at my friend Jackie who is 24, married one year and just closed on a new home with her new hubby. On one hand I’m thrilled that she is so happy and is well on her way to full fledged adulthood but on the other hand I’m sitting here wondering “what am I doing wrong that I’m not a homeowner and a married woman at 23?” and then on another hand (shoot…I don’t have three hands. Well, whatever) I don’t want to be tied down to a home and/or marriage right now so why the feelings of failure? Because we’re disproportionally inundated with these types of posts so naturally thoughts start to spiral out of control but rarely do we stop and think about the things we don’t see on social media that bring our seemingly perfect friends back to mortal status. When was the last time you saw someone bragging about overdrawing a checking account or being stood up on a date? Never, because no one wants to look like anything less than a perfect person living in a perfect world! If social media painted us a truly real picture of everyone’s lives I can’t help but think how differently we would all feel. No longer would we feel the pressure to hurry our lives along or live up to someone else’s expectations but rather we can feel truly happy for the people in our lives that are experiencing that is so great…for them.