I don’t know about your morning routine, I have a habit of watching YouTube videos whilst I get ready in the morning. My phone fits just-so-perfectly on the ledge beneath my mirror and I tap on whatever takes my fancy that morning. Sometimes I watch vlogs from my subscriptions, sometimes TED Talks, sometimes travel guides about places I’m going soon. Sometimes whatever weird stuff YouTube throws at me.
We all know that just because someone’s life looks perfect and aspirational and happy on the internet doesn’t mean it’s always that way in real life.
This morning, the YouTube powers that be suggested I watch one of Patricia Bright’s latest videos, titled ‘How the Internet has made me insecure | Dealing with my insecurity and letting it all out‘. Yep, she who has 955,469 subscribers as I type (and probably hundreds more by the time you’re reading this), feels insecure. If you think I’m gonna say that she shouldn’t feel that way, don’t worry, I’m not. We all know that just because someone’s life looks perfect and aspirational and happy on the internet doesn’t mean it’s always that way in real life. I’ve watched Patricia’s channel for years and always loved her honesty and open-ness (is that a word?) and this video was no exception.
What struck me was just how wrong we can be about what’s going on inside someone’s head or behind closed doors. Never judge a book and all that. In the video Patricia spoke about feeling critical of herself and not confident about her life/success even as she approaches a million subscribers, and she addressed the irony of that and how it actually scares her. Because the thing is, we can’t help but see social media statistics – however big or small – as some kind of validation of our worth, and I can only imagine that gets more stressful and has a greater impact on your mood when numbers reach those crazy levels.
Victoria from InTheFrow’s blog posts about comparison and FOMO made me think a similar way. If even she, one of the biggest bloggers in the country, feels down about herself and her blog from time to time, then what hope is there for us mere mortals? It’d be easy to assume that because someone’s inundated with trip offers and glamourous events and seem to have a happy relationship and live in a beautiful house, that they must be happy and satisfied with life.
No-one, absolutely no-one, is immune to comparison stealing their joy and feelings of inadequacy kicking in.
However, if there’s one thing that these posts and videos (and other well known internetters saying similar things) has told me, it’s that no-one, absolutely no-one, is immune to comparison stealing their joy and feelings of inadequacy kicking in. Which I guess in a roundabout way should be reassuring, to know that everybody feels the same way. Also depressing that the internet has the power to bring even people at the top of their game down. No matter what you do, how ‘successful’ you are, there’s always something else you should be doing and someone else who’s done it better. It’s easy to assume that because someone appears confident they don’t doubt themselves, but seeing more of these open and honest posts has really made me realise that self-assurance is a wishful goal to strive for. Like I said in this post, it’s often only when someone else points out your success that you actually realise it anyway. So instead of striving to feel like I’ve done good enough, I’m gonna accept that someone else will have done better, FOMO will always exist, and use dissatisfaction as motivation to do new things rather than dwell on feeling ‘meh’. 🙂
lily kate x