The Instagram Effect: Are You Really Missing Out?

A couple of days ago I had an epiphany. 

Sebastian was right, the seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake.

*Warning! If you’re in a good mood then maybe just leave*

Putting things into context, it was a crisp, Autumnal, Friday morning, and I’d just woken up. To pass some time, I clicked on a friend’s Instagram story to see that she was at spin class. It was …7.30…. AM …. and she was already working her ass off. 

Of course this was not her intention, but it made me feel bad about myself.

Why wasn’t I this productive? Why couldn’t I drag my lazy arse out of bed to go to the gym?

This one post that she probably didn’t think twice about, made me feel so guilty that I spent that Friday evening in the gym.

And then I thought about the stories I post. And how without realising, I could be making other people feel depressed.

Is my life perfect? Absolutely fucking not.

But according to Instagram, I’m always travelling, or dining at a billion different restaurants, going on random weekend adventures, or crafting my amazing paintings (lol).

Do I have my life together? Not one little bit. I have no clue what I’m doing. It’s just that all of the shitty stuff that happens never makes the cut.

And i’ve had a lot of conversations with people recently who’ve been comparing their lives with other people’s online stories. And they’re genuinely down about it. They think that their life is not good enough because someone else is doing something ‘better’.

Well, it’s not true. Not for me at least.

So I decided to make a list of all the stuff that doesn’t make my highlights reel, because sometimes being honest can be quite refreshing…


1. I hate being an expat

Expat life (probably not exclusive to being an expat but this is all I know right now) is honestly shit. The language barrier is still an issue for me. The cultural differences are a thing. People aren’t friendly. Just the other day someone told my mate to go back to ‘his Brexshit country’. And homesickness is a bitch. 

I don’t know if I’ve been watching too much Broadchurch, but I’m missing home more than ever before. Not even for the place I lived in. But the stupidest things .. like the countryside that has trees, and hills, and woods, and like… fish and chips.

I DIDN’T EVEN EAT FISH AND CHIPS WHEN I LIVED IN THE UK.

2. I miss my oldest friends

Now this might just be a ‘growing up’ thing, but I’m starting to lose touch with my oldest friends. No-ones to blame here. Well actually no, we’re all to blame. They don’t call me, I don’t call them, and they probably think I’m having the time of my life and have forgotten all about them. 

Which btw if you’re reading, is 100% not true.

3. Travelling every month isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

I set myself a STUPID challenge at the beginning of the year to travel to a different country every month.

And yeah, it’s amazing that I have the money and time to do this, but honestly, it’s just tiring.

And I know I sound like the biggest most ungrateful brat by even moaning about this. What a first-world, middle-class, white-girl, humble-brag problem to have. But I honestly don’t appreciate it anymore. I’ve become way too used to it.

I just wanna sleep.

4. I don’t adhere to society’s standards

The way I see it is there are two types of people:

Type one: The settled down happily married with kids and a house type people
Type two: The Peter Pan syndrome ignoring all of social norms type people

I fall under the two category. Not by choice, at least I don’t think it was a choice.

Ignoring the traditional norms of society is not something I’ve been particularly bothered by, until I realised I’m 32, living AND renting in a place that I definitely don’t want to ‘settle down’ in, thus making my soulmate quest completely pointless, and my biological clock is ticking.

But like WHY does it even matter? Why do we rely on finding someone to make our lives happier?

Is it Disney? Has Disney done this to us? 

Eurgh.

And like, do I even want a baby? Well, probably not. But then I see all of the type one people and they all look super happy, and they say that it’s like the best thing ever, so I must be missing out on something, right?

But there I am again, comparing myself to others, thinking that I’ll be happy if I do what they’re doing.

Why do we do that?

4. I have weekends where I don’t leave my bed

I spent all of last weekend basically in bed. I didn’t want to talk to a single person. People annoy me (sometimes). I just cba having to be friendly all the bloody time. Having to make sure I listen and nod at the right times, being the perfect conversationalist.

So I’ll stay in bed feeling even worse about myself because I haven’t done anything ‘productive’ during my days off. And I’ll just cry about dumb shit. Like my dog who has cancer. And like, he’s just a dog, but he means everything to me.

5. I hate drinking but it’s the only thing people do 

If I didn’t drink then I probably wouldn’t have any friends. The drinking culture in Amsterdam is huge. And I hate alcohol. I hate what it does to me. I hate the taste of it, I hate the hangovers. But if I have to go and socialise with drunk people, then I need to be twice as drunk myself.

And I’m not sure this is related but I hate noises too. Like being in a club, or a bar, it’s too loud and I hate it. Like sometime there’ll be a noise and it will genuinely make me angry. What’s that about?

Ok, that’s a lot of hate, but you get the idea.

6. Work can get so stressful that sometimes I just won’t go in

In my last job I worked there for 3.5 years. In the whole time I was there, I didn’t have a single sick day.

My current job is so draining that I probably have a sick day once every 3 months out of sheer necessity that my head doesn’t implode. I’m not gonna go too much into this one, but it’s a shit thing so I thought I’d mention it.

7. I lack interest in most things

Do your friends ever have a conversation, and you just nod along, even though you’re not really sure what they’re talking about?

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 20.55.54.png

Yeah, well that’s me most of the time. I don’t care about current affairs, they just depress me. I don’t care who’s the greek god of marriage, what the biggest planet in our solar system is, or why everyone is so concerned with Teresa May dancing.

And deeper than that, I don’t really have any passions. I’m just ‘meh’ about pretty much everything. Nothing seems to set my soul on fire.


So those are just some of the shitty things that go on behind my scenes, but if you looked at my Instagram, you wouldn’t see a single hint of that.

The way I see it is that all of these things that make our highlights reel are just one big distraction. A distraction from the actual truth that.. Honestly…. Life is fucking mental. I don’t get it. I don’t get the point of any of it.

I mean, there isn’t one really, other than the whole procreation thing… but then if you’re not doing that then there is literally no point to life. Nada.

And I don’t really have any ‘takeaway’ for this post.

I just felt like shit (questionably because we’ve moved seasons and the moon is probably in my Jupiter or something) and wanted to rant about how life is fucking hard sometimes.

So whether you’re distracting yourself with a house, a baby, a partner, a job, experiences, or material goods, then good on ya. We all need these distractions because otherwise we’d face the cold hard reality that there is no point to any of this. 

BUT I will say this, don’t feel bad if someone else seemingly has their shit together better than you do. I guarantee that they don’t. Their distractions are just different to yours. Try and take a moment to appreciate what you have.

Failing that, give meditation a go, I hear it’s a good way to pass the time.


PS. I promise my next post will be super positive.

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