Designer Kate Spade’s tragic exit from this world is a public reminder that money and success don’t mean happiness is guaranteed. What we see on the outside of situations is rarely ever the whole truth.
In this day and age of social media, I think we too easily forget that what we see on Facebook or Instagram is a scripted truth, someone’s “life selfie” that’s been put through an unknown amount of filters and photoshopped until it looked like what that person wanted you to see. That’s usually not what actually IS.
I can only shake my head at a culture in which a person or brand is required to have an Instagram following of at least 500,000 devoted voyeurs (I made this number up, FYI) in order to be considered successful. And wait, that’s not even the stupidest thing about it, oh no. Nowadays, people or companies with the most followers are suddenly EXPERTS on things that are absolutely subjective but pandered as universal. It’s fucken ridiculous.
Why? Because even though I know that much of what I see is crafted and even though I tell myself not to look or compare my real self to the photoshopped, filtered whatever or whoever I see on the web or on TV or on that billboard, I still do it, mostly subconsciously. It still leaves a shadow that makes me feel like I should do more and be more and weigh less and have more followers. And I think that’s how we all are.
Even worse is that it is poisoning the minds of the future. Here’s a study that was done in the UK that concludes that social media hubs like Instagram that were supposedly intended to connect people are creating a widespread epidemic of narcissism and delusion. Ok, I added that last part, but it’s true.
What that does to us individually isn’t something I can or would generalize, but what that subconscious inclusion of fake shit in our self analysis does is universal- it has made anxiety and narcissism dinner table themes. WTF?
I also think that the internet has made us absurdly ambitious. Now that you can click and see these manufactured images and the accompanying stories, all of a sudden, that thing you were so proud of looks like a 2nd grade science project. Or a beginner’s whatever it is. All of a sudden you’re not good enough for yourself. And that is Grade A Top Tier, Steaming Bullshit. If you put your heart and your soul into something, it is beautiful, no matter what anyone else says. Don’t ever forget that.
I think most people have heard that saying that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy. You wanna know the best way to cultivate joy and keep it warm and shiny and bright? It’s a secret. Kidding! Of course I’ll tell you, we’re buds!! Ready? The best way to keep and multiply your joy is by sharing it with others. Share your smile, your kindness, your love, and your time with others. The feeling I get when I make someone else smile, laugh, and forget about all the shitty things that life can sometimes hand us, that feeling is one of the best things I know.
You are your own awesomely unique kind of special. Own it. No one else has to agree with you to make it true and no one’s disagreement with that makes it false.
XOXO – K