A quick hashtag search on Instagram will result in hundreds of pics and memes uploaded by women and men born between 1977 and 1995, the #Millennials. Being born in 1991 (hollaa), I fall into this category and I honestly don’t know where to begin.
In my opinion the main factors that make up the “Millennial Struggle” are the fast paced and advanced internet and technology along with the “You can have it all and Do it all” paired with a lack of basic life know-how.
Of course their are many Millennials that do not face these struggles but I will humbly raise my hand to having experienced all 3 of the struggles above.
I met with my close friend (and bridesmaid-to-be) and her mom yesterday and we chatted about our Millennial problems. First thing we talked about, and the topic I will focus on for this blog post, was social media…of course. I was sharing some blogger photo tips and tricks I had discovered and we jumped into a convo about the falsehoods portrayed on social media. Looking at it from two different points, the good and bad are apparent.
Scrolling on any SM platform you’ll find a plethora of selfies, exotic vacation pics, festive alcoholic beverages, perfectly plated food porn, and girls and guys slaying their editorial-worthy ootds. But we all know (because most of us are guilty) that only the best of life is showcased for all to see. No one posts their sucky days, broke-college-kid meals or bummy-grocery-run outfit of the day.
Even knowing this, we still compare ourselves to others. Something that people have been doing for centuries but nowadays with others’ lives plastered in our faces with the best lighting and filters, depending on our competitive nature we either kill ourselves trying to one-up everyone or we beat ourselves up and criticize our current state in life.
The once upon a time, coveted lifestyle of top celebrities is now one seemed to be lived by everyone around us.
On the other hand social media can be seen as an art form. A new way of sharing life in a way that is inspiring and highlighting the good moments, the amazing food, and breath-taking scenic views! I often look at my friend’s travel pics and get inspired to travel there next or I take note of my favorite You-tuber’s new makeup look and add a new trick into my makeup routine.
The problem here is the thin line of reality and the area of gray between what is real and what is fake. When that girl you went to high school with posts a pic of her and her boyfriend lounging on a beach in Cancun sipping strawberry margaritas, we don’t see the fight they had right after that, we don’t know if this trip was their last “test” to see if the relationship can stand, we don’t know see her groveling at her bank statement post-trip, OR maybe, like showcased, she really is having the time of her life with the man of her dreams! The point is we’ll never know the FULL story no matter how often someone posts.
So what do we even do with this?
TAKE EVERY PIC WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.
Know that no matter how real the picture may be, it is just that, a picture. A, most likely, staged capture of a fluid moment. This fluid moment is encompasses unseen thoughts, conversations, people, problems, struggles, triumphs..you get the point. There are way more than 50 areas of grey when looking at that pic (and I’m not talking filters here)!
CHECK OUT SOME HOW-TO-VIDEOS.
A search on YouTube on “How I Edit my Instagram Photos” or “How I Edit my Videos” will show you the skill and art form behind the reality we see in pictures. I for one, was blown away when I started learning how to edit my vlogs (still a work in progress) and I was amazed at the final products people could get after editing their pictures on basic editing apps. Educating yourself just a bit on even a few of the tricks others use can demystify and shine a much needed light on just how someone’s life can look so damn perfect!
GET MOTIVATED TO GROW NOT WALLOW.
I’ve done it plenty of times, we all do, comparing yourself to others is all but too common for us Millennials. We compare ourselves to our peers, those some years younger, older, and even to previous generations. Information is sitting at our fingertips with every click and in just a few minutes we can read an entire bio on our favorite celeb or blogger and then think to ourselves “He accomplished ALL that by age 18?!”
Let’s challenge ourselves to get motivated instead of wallowing in a deep hole of self-pity. When you find yourself ready to compare or ready to hate, say to yourself,“He or She is just another human like me. If another human can do ______, so can I!” Or whatever encouraging phrase you want, keep it ready to fire when you find yourself negatively emotionally charged from someone’s picture.
I honestly feel like there’s so much to talk about regarding social media alone. It is fascinating living in such a time! We face unique struggles that aren’t always fun of course, but that means WE have the responsibility to solve these problems, create, grow, and change our present to impact our and the next generation’s future.
I know this sounds super optimistic, and it is! I’m counting my blessings, acknowledging my struggles, and moving forward to the best of abilities. Care to join me? Tell me your thoughts on this issue (positive and negative)! Millennial or not– OPEN CONVERSATION BELOW!