I am a huge fan of Seinfeld so when my lecturer found a way to make George Costanza relevant I was so excited. She used one of my all-time favourite quotes from the show:
George: "You see, right now I have Relationship George. But there is also Independent George. That's the George you know, the George you grew up with... Movie George, Coffee Shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George."
Jerry: "I love that George."
George: "Me too, and he's dying. If Relationship George walks through this door, he will kill Independent George. A George divided against itself cannot stand!"
I had never really given any substance to this quote, it was more something I just laughed at. However, after hearing it in class all of a sudden that quote was given some deeper meaning (isn't that always the way).
It seems to me that everyone is capable of changing their personality in some way to suit the situation that they’re in. For example, you may be extremely serious in your corporate job; and at home and in front of your friends you are really carefree and a bit of a joker. It can be quite simple to go between the two personalities unless of course your "worlds collide." This made me wonder, if we can easily pull off personality changes in person then it must be even easier to do it over social media.
In the past I used mindlessly click on the Instagram app and feel myself crawl into my own shell of insecurity as I scrolled though a highlights real of everyone I followed. I would watch all the incredible Instagram stories of my favourite lifestyle bloggers. I would look at their lives and want nothing more to have what they had. Whether it was their body, their apartment, their relationship or their lifestyle; in my eyes it all seemed picture perfect. I would read the captions about ‘loving life’ and ‘feeling balanced’ and wonder what more I could possibly be doing to attain that ‘perfect balanced lifestyle.’ What I essentially created was a place where I could VOLUNTARILY visit to compare my life to those of others without a second thought.
Last year when I decided to start my own Instagram I knew that I wanted it to be 100% real and authentic. I didn’t want to hide my feelings. I wanted to invite my followers into my life and that meant into even my saddest and hardest days. Unfortunately, I was very quick to learn just how easy it is to lie on that kind of platform.
The people that follow me don’t see me every day and therefore wouldn’t really know what is going on in my life. There are days when I don’t feel great and don’t particularly want people to know that so instead I’ll post a healthy recipe or a picture of the beach. So if I have the power to do this and show off ‘balanced Gel’, ‘clumsy Gel’, ‘funny Gel’, ‘wise Gel’, whenever I please who is to say that others aren’t doing the same?
It can be so easy to allow ourselves to get consumed in the lives of others as a way for us to escape the challenges we are facing. We can be so quick to believe that the people we follow live the most incredible lives all the time. That they are constantly smiling. That they are always happy. That their relationships are perfect. But is this really doing anyone any good?
I made a decision one day not to believe everything I saw. Sure there may have been some truth to what I was seeing but that wasn’t the WHOLE truth. There is no telling how many other hundreds of selfies were behind that perfect post. How hard the person was tensing to get the perfect abs. How many recipe tests there were to get the perfect one to post.
My point is this. Before you tap on your Instagram app today take a moment to close your eyes and think of three things you are grateful for in your life right now. By doing this you are acknowledging the joy that YOU have in YOUR LIFE. Your life is SPECIAL and UNIQUE to you and NOBODY can make you feel bad about that.
“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” – Dr Wayne Dyer.