Why Feeling Static in Your Life is Just A Social Media Illusion

Friday, March 25, 2016

It’s the feeling of nothing happening. Nothing is changing. Not for the good, but not necessarily for the bad either. You just are stuck in the unwavering stability of merely existing. There’s an unease I know we all feel when nothing is currently happening in this moment. There are no important events occurring in your life, yet they seem to be happening to literally everyone else around you.

I often feel this way as I am staring into my phone screen, religiously watching Friends on my Netflix app from “The One Where it All Began,” all the way to “The Last One.” Then, in-between breaks, I check my Facebook feed and friends are being accepted into graduate schools, travelling across various European cities, revealing their new dream job offer, or posting pictures of them moving to a new city. And here I am wondering how it is that I could forget the episode where Phoebe was married to a gay ice dancer.  

It’s then, as I’m absorbed in my show, something that isn’t terribly rewarding as far as life achievements go, that I wonder why the world seems to be moving without me. It’s like I’m standing in the middle of a street and the sidewalks, streetlights, and all the people around me are on a travolator being propelled forward. And they’re just passing right by me.

I’m just idle.

I’m not presently writing an award-winning script. I’m not working on a project. I can’t afford to travel. I’m still in school pursuing my undergraduate degree. I don’t have a new job that aligns with my career goals. All the pictures I post on all my social media accounts are of my three monster animals and their outrageous behavior or evidence of how I thought my makeup looked good that day. I’m not doing anything, but watching everyone else around me do. I’m not moving.

Or at least, I feel like I’m not moving.

Is it that I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything or is it that I am just oversaturated with the good news? Am I not supplied with enough of the boring things, which if were actually detailed, would undoubtedly make me feel more in tune with my peers? More of an equal?

The boring stuff is just the in-between moments that no one ever talks about. No one posts on their social media accounts that they just unloaded the dishwasher. Unless there’s something extremely out of the ordinary or marginally interesting and/or humorous about that moment you put the glassware in the correct cupboard, it’s just not mentioned. And when I’m sitting here scrolling through my friends list and I see what I perceive to be my friend’s major accomplishments, I need to remember that those same people also have these in-between moments too. Yes, they were just promoted today, but yesterday they were walking their dog too. And they’ll walk their dog again today and maybe they’ll follow it up with a Game of Thrones binge fest alone in their apartment, like me.

So when I’m sitting there, overanalyzing how my current static state is making me stir-crazy, I’ll remember that the in-between moments are just as important as all the other ones, because they lead up to all the big ones. Just because something isn’t happening right this moment, doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in the near future. As long as you’re working towards those moments, they will come. When everyone else and their mom seems like they’re doing something so beyond what I’m doing right now, I need to remember that when everyone appears like they’re going somewhere with all the cool and notable moments in their life, we’re all just moving at different paces and sometimes it looks better on-screen. I hope you can remember that, too, when you’re feeling like life has left you behind.


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