What is your happy place? For me, I'm fresh out of the shower, in my bed, wearing a big t-shirt, and some sort of half-up-half-down-messy-bun-ponytail combo. It's nighttime, I have my fairy lights plugged in and a candle burning and making everything smell wonderful. I'm journalling, reading the Bible, or blogging. There's calm music playing in the background, and makeup is a thing of the past. It's calm and wonderful and I feel fulfilled.
But what does happiness look like on social media? To me, it's girls with flawless skin, hair, and bodies that go on adventures with a new friend each day. They have a new cute outfit for each day of the week. They have beautifully edited pictures on Instagram that flow together and make me want to look at their feeds forever. And it leaves me feeling empty.
Why are these two versions of happiness so different?
We feel happiness as one thing while the world tells us it's another. Comparison is the thing that makes me stray from happiness the most. I never was the girl to get caught up in social media, but lately it's been making me feel like I'm not good enough. I don't have enough likes, I don't go on enough adventures, I'm not pretty enough, I don't have enough friends, my clothes are all wrong. The list could go on and on. The problem for me is that there isn't room for my kind of happiness on Instagram. My makeup free selfie in the dark wouldn't match my Instagram feed. I'd love to post more pictures of the beautiful places I visit, but those pictures don't get as many likes. Social media can be a battleground where the wounds are insecurity and judgment. Who would have thought an app, something that isn't even tangibly real, could cause so much confusion, insecurity, and comparison?
The reason social media is so difficult for me is because of the expectations of what happiness is. The place where I feel the happiest isn't somewhere I take a million pictures. It's just a place where I feel good. There's so much pressure to document and show everyone everything that happens in your life. I think that's okay, and I actually really like to post a lot because it's fun to me. But my Instagram profile doesn't accurately show the world what I really like to do. Yes, it shows the girl who has fun with her friends and likes to go to pretty places. But it doesn't show the moments of undocumented joy, and I'm starting to realize that it's okay. I don't need the whole world to know that I'm happy at this. exact. moment. I'm going to post cute pictures with my friends, because let's be real, it look at least 10 minutes to get the perfect picture that everyone looked good in, so I'm not about to throw that all away. But the moments in between-- the journalling, the prayer, the worship songs, the getting lost in a good book, the things I absolutely love-- are not things that every single one of my followers needs to see. It's difficult when you see everyone having fun. It make you want to post something to make sure people know that you too are having the time of your life. But when that moment of insecurity strikes, put the phone down and go to your happy place. You're the only one who needs to know about it. And trust me, people are way more worked up about making sure they look like they're having fun to even notice if you are or not.
So not everything needs to be broadcasted. Social media is your own, so post whenever and whatever (within reason) you want. But don't take time away from enjoying the moment to make sure you have photographical evidence of your happy memories. Be so lost in the moment that you totally forget about your phone and the need for photos. Happiness isn't a competition. Someone can be happy and there is still going to be plenty of room for your kind of happiness. Focus finding moments of true joy and investing yourself in them. Be present in the moment. Get your face out of your phone and your mind off your next Insta post. Trust me, I struggle a ton with this, and I know it's not easy. Don't let social media decide what happiness means. Redefine happiness. Make it your own authentic expression of joy. Happiness is all your own. It doesn't have to be the same as everyone else and that is 100% okay. Embrace yourself. Love what makes you happy and don't worry about how your happiness looks to others. Let it be and submerge yourself in your happy place as often as possible.
Thank you so much for reading!! See ya later! <3