There’s an obsession in our modern world with having to make ourselves look like the most successful and happy people we can possibly be without showing that we ever have weak moments. Whether it’s editing our photos, sharing events we’ve been to with fake smiles, or constantly putting on a smile and only posting the good things that happen – we’re all guilty of it.
The age of social media sharing has turned our personal interactions from honest conversations of truly knowing people’s feelings, and, if they are upset, creating a happy environment for them, to a world of social interactions which are fake and – I sometimes find – condescending.
“When did it become a sign of weakness and embarrassment to not be OK all of the time?”
When I was younger…
I never worried about what people thought of me – I never worried whether people thought I was too fat, too blonde, too loud, too pale (or too orange the one time I tried using fake tan by the bottle full in Year 8)! It never mattered… until teenage-hood. But why is this? What is the fascination we get at the age of thirteen that makes us all turn into self-centered, vain, prejudicial bullies?
#ControversialComment: High school was a very tough time for me, and I think I understand what made it harder. It wasn’t the fact that I was bullied constantly for my weight, or bullied because I wasn’t good at spelling. It was the teachers and the internet constantly telling me that you shouldn’t let the bullies get to you, that you should show them you’re strong.
While this may have seemed like sound advice for someone being bullied at the age of thirteen, it certainly didn’t prepare me very well for actual life after the immaturity of school.
Why should we have to bottle up how we feel? Why should we have to make everything appear like it’s ok? This remind me of one of the first videos I truly felt a connection to – a video in which a well-known blogger cries to the camera and explain that sometimes things get too much, sometimes things get on top of us and we just need to vent, cry or rant to those we love. And thousands upon thousands of people liked this video, yet I can guarantee some of these same people are those who see someone crying and call them weak and think they are stupid for showing their emotions so freely online.
I found bottling up how I felt was the worst thing I could have done. When I was being bullied at school and had no friends (like I literally felt like I had no one), I would constantly be walking around the school during break times, or eating under large trees right at the edge of the field so people would either not see me or think there was a reason I was walking somewhere by myself.
But, what made it worse wasn’t trying to show that I was strong to the bullies – what made it worse was that everyone thought I was fine, and the bullies thought that because I wasn’t showing how hurt I was to anyone that they could get away with it. And that made me depressed – to the point that I had thoughts of how the most efficient way of killing myself was, and how I could do it so my parents weren’t the ones who found me.
“We were given emotions for a reason – to show how we truly feel, whether that’s love, sadness, anger, or any other emotion you can think of…”
We see a photograph of someone crying and call it art, we see someone crying on the street and we shy away from them. Modern life confuses me! We shouldn’t be afraid to show our emotions – we were given them and we should use them. Someone who is crying is no weaker or worse off than someone who appears happy in their Facebook photos.
One of my favourite songs of all time is ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ by Jessie J. This song perfectly captures the innocence of humanity and states that no matter who we are, where we are, what we believe in, nobody is any better than anyone else.
“Nobody is perfect, we can all accept that – as much as some people think they are – in the most basic forms of humanity”