social media

Life on Social Media

I once posted a picture of a hike I'd gone on to my personal Instagram and Facebook page. It was a good hike. Fun. But life at that point hadn't been all that I thought it would be. It had been exceedingly hard. A lot of things had fallen apart. Even the things I hadn't wanted to do but was doing anyways hadn't ended up working out.

The night I posted the picture on Instagram I was crying in bed. And my cousin posted on that photo "You really know how to enjoy life!"

Oh yes, I did. I was in bed at 8:30 p.m., crying about a lot of overwhelming things. If she could have seen me then, she wouldn't have said that I had been enjoying life. She would have given me a hug and tea. I hadn't even been enjoying it that much when I posted it earlier in the day. It was just a cool picture and I wanted to share it.

And honestly I hadn't been enjoying it for the first hour and a half of the drive and hike. I had been quiet and sad. Only getting a little happy when we got out of the woods and into the sun. Then the interesting sites and mountains cheered me up a little.

But social media portrays a false side of life. I can be happy on social media. I can only show the good parts of my life. The interesting parts. The enviable ones. But I don't show the tissues in my car. The running mascara. The donut for breakfast. The stress.

So while I try to enjoy life, there are days that I don't. And I, and others, need to remember that everything we see on social media isn't true. And it's not a competition.

So try to enjoy life, but don't take social media at face value.

Living the Perfect Life

Northwest Pearls: The Perfect Life Multiple friends have recently told me that they were jealous of all the adventures I go on and all the fun I'm having. I had to ask them what they meant. Me? Going out and having fun? Sure, that happens sometimes, but not all that often. Usually I'm working or applying to jobs or reading alone or watching tv by myself or maybe with my bff. There's not a ton of fun or adventures in my life right now.

I figured out that their perception of my life came from my social media accounts. (Mostly Instagram.) They saw the pictures I posted and assumed that I was having a blast.

Which isn't exactly true. I have gotten to do some fun things this summer, go on hikes, be maid of honor in a dear friend's wedding, try out new things, but overall I'd saw it was an average or below-average summer. I just try to make my life look great on social media.

Which is what most people do. I see the photos of friends kayaking or at the top of a mountain and I'm jealous. But what I fail to remember is that those people also are in school or they're working and most of their life isn't like that. I just see their memorable highlights.

It's the same thing with most, if not all, blogs out there. They/we just post the highlights of our life, the pretty things, the things that inspire us. I'm not going to post an OOTD of me in yoga pants and a college t-shirt I got for free unless there's an amazing view from a hike behind me. If that's what I wore around the house or to the grocery store, it's not worth posting. It has to be noteworthy in some way for it to be internet worthy.

And most of my life isn't very noteworthy. It may seem cool on social media but honestly, yes, I've had fun this summer, but probably not as much fun as I've made it seem. (Because let's face it, you don't want to see a photo of me at my computer or me running errands.)

It makes me a little sad to see people post #goals on posts or blog posts (not mine, usually someone famous in the social media/blog world.) Yes, it would seem fabulous to wear a swimsuit everyday and just lounge by the beach, but let's face it, even the people who seem to be doing that all the time, probably aren't. Anything, even the glamorous, gets old after a while. Most of it is about selling a lifestyle, but you have to realize that even they aren't living that lifestyle. And many readers (usually they seem younger) don't realize that life isn't like that. Yes, Person A may look fabulous in the post about the beach and a fabulous new swimsuit, but what you don't see is the boring parts of life, because let's face it, everyone's life has to be somewhat mundane and boring some of the time. We just don't showcase that part because no one is interested in it.

So don't compare yourself to what someone else (famous or not) seems to be online or on social media. They may seem like #goals, but I bet if you spent a week with them, you'd see that their life isn't what you thought.

Here's what I'm frequently doing when I'm at home, feet up on the desk, at my computer video chatting, watching TV, applying for jobs, or blogging. Those feet have done cool things this summer, but they've also hung out at home quite a bit.

Northwest Pearls: Living the Life

What do you think about a person's portrayal online and on social media?

Another Person's Success Isn't Your Failure

Northwest Pearls: Comparison

*Image source

Another person's success isn't your failure. These are words I've been trying to keep in mind. I get onto social media and see friends announcing that they got into their top grad school or that they've got an internship in Europe and I'm over here like, "I get a two day weekend this week because a trip I was going to go on didn't work out." (I usually work six days per week. Also, I'm incredibly glad I had a two day weekend. I'm exhausted.)

I graduated with a four-year degree in three years at age 20, and I currently have a paid internship in the field I want to go into as well as a side-job. And still I'm judging myself for not having a full-time career and feeling like a failure because at age 21, I haven't found a full-time career.

I judge myself too harshly. I constantly compare myself to others and I envy them and where their lives have taken them. But it's something that I, and maybe you too, need to work at.

Here are a few ways I've come up with to keep thinking positively:

  • Dwell on your accomplishments. Don't be arrogant, but know that you have worth and you have accomplished things.
  • Stay off social media (this will be hard to impossible for me, I love to blog and I use my Facebook for work, but I know that I often compare myself to my friends on social media.)
  • Remember that everyone is different. They live differently and they have different goals.
  • Know that everyone has flaws.
  • Know that everyone has bad things that they're going through that you don't know about. Just because you don't know what they're going through, doesn't mean that they're not struggling.
  • Be grateful for what you have and who you are. There is no one out there like you. You are unique and loved.
  • And a little Bible verse for those of you who this may help: Jeremiah 29:11 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" This helps me because it reminds me that I'm being looked after and loved.

Do you have the same problem as me? What helps you to not compare yourself?

Be Happy With Now

Northwest Pearls: Snowy Trees

*Image source

I have a pet peeve, well, I have more than one, but one in particular is when people, usually on social media, are all "Oh, I can't wait for (insert season here!)"

And they do it every single season. They are always looking forward to autumn leaves, winter scarves, spring dresses, and summer trips.

I don't understand it. You were just looking forward to whatever season it is currently so why are you already over it?

I get it, the sun is nice, so are pumpkins pictures of your boots in the leaves (I've done that), snow is fun (haven't seen any this year, yay PNW), and you can't wait for flowers to bloom. But what if, what if you just enjoyed it until it was over? What if you were happy and content with where we are in the year and where you are in life?

You can still strive toward larger things while you're content with where you are. We should always strive to improve ourselves and to make the world a better place for others, but we can be content while doing so. We can enjoy the fact that the air is cooler and that the rain will help with water-levels in the warmer-months, we can enjoy the fact that we're in school and have a chance to learn.

Looking forward to things is agonizing. Looking forward to graduating, a new job, a move, a change in relationship, a trip; we have expectations and we think that life will be better afterwards. But in a way that can make us unhappy in-the-now. I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but I'm trying to be content with where I am in life.

What do you think of trying to be content with where you're at?

11 Things I Learned About Organizing My Email

When I went to college I got an email address that all students there received. I started forwarding my other email addresses over to that one and that one became my primary address. I started to regret that. A smarter move would have been to forward that one over to my main one because once I graduated college, I didn't want to use a college related one and while it didn't take too long to move everything around, I did spend a couple of hours deleting 2,000 emails. Yes, 2,400 emails. Which was a ton to me. But I went through and deleted 2,000 of them. So what I learned from that was:

  1. Forwarding your email can be a pain as it duplicates everything.
  2. You should have an email address that you will use after college for adult things such as job applications and forward everything to that one. Use that account as your main one.
  3. Every so often go into your other email accounts and delete things you don't need.
  4. I'm not as good at deleting old sales emails as I thought I was.
  5. I'm subscribed to companies I don't care about.
  6. I'm subscribed to companies I do care about. (I like hearing about their sales.)
  7. There are social media websites from which I don't want to get weekly updates.
  8. Use one email for all of your subscriptions/accounts. It simplifies everything.
  9. Create folders in your email account. 'Purchases' 'School' etc.
  10. Writing down where you are subscribed or you have accounts is a nice thing to do for yourself.
  11. Sitting down and just doing it is an efficient, and frustrating, way to get it done.