A few days ago, I opened my Instagram and the first thing I saw was a photo of an acquaintance on holiday captioned “living the good life”. Have you ever had one of those moments when you check your Facebook or Instagram newsfeed and you are convinced that everyone is having more fun than you?
If you say no, you are either deceiving yourself or a very strong will individual. I have had one too many of those moments where I asked myself “why does it seem like everyone else has a great social life but me?” I did a quick Google search and I was glad to discover that it wasn’t just me. I discovered the “everyone is having more fun than me” syndrome.
Through careful observations, I have come to the conclusion that a lot of people live artificial lives online. Social media allows us to pick and choose what people see about us and nowadays, many of us are preoccupied with depicting a state of fun for others to see rather than focusing on actually having fun. This is called the “impostor syndrome” and it explains a lot of people’s digital lives. So if you find yourself comparing your social life to that of a “digital friend” here are a few things to remember:
1. Everybody has a degree of impostor syndrome in them. I read a quote somewhere saying “self-delusion is one of the greatest inventions in human history”. I concur. Rightly, Christian Bovee also said, “delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities”. I believe it’s in our human nature to want to put our best foot forward and social media encourages that. Therefore we manipulate and/or exaggerate our reality. Don’t judge those who do this because we are all guilty of it. Social media fuels our ambivalence and self-promotion is our way of seeking social acceptance and boosting our self-esteem.
The problem with impostor syndrome is that the persona can only be maintained for a limited period of time. When you notice that the person who usually uploads a new photo everyday or updates their status every 5 minutes is nowhere to be found online, one or more of the following may have happened:
- His/her creativity has stifled so s/he can’t think of anything else to brag about.
- S/he is fed up of his/her own false pretense.
- Life is too busy and s/he no longer has time for such things.
- S/he is actually having fun.
2. In the words of Kevin Hart, “do you boo boo” or as my friends would say “face your lane“. Focus on having fun and enjoying your life. It’s the best thing you’ll ever do! It’s difficult to enjoy yourself when you are watching other people. When you focus on other people, you’ll probably notice a lot more than you should. I really question whether fun for the sake of fun still exists. My Instagram acquaintance is probably holding that pose waiting for his/her next profile picture so s/he can prove to everyone else that they are having a good time. Don’t let impostor syndrome sabotage your social life. Remember the secret to having fun is to actually do it!