Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You See Online – #BellLetsTalk
I’ll be honest. I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts folder for a while now. It’s a vulnerable one for me – definitely something you haven’t seen on here before – and I’ve found it hard to press the publish button.
FEAR is the best word to describe my feelings. I’m afraid of sharing the truth. Scared of not being ‘perfect’ – despite always telling myself that perfect is boring. And nervous of what others may think.
But this past Wednesday was Bell Let’s Talk Day and I saw tons of people sharing their stories, showing support and encouraging discussions surrounding mental health in many different ways. After all, #BellLetsTalk is about providing a platform for people to speak up. Now is my turn. And even though I missed the opportunity to share this post then, I think it’s important to continue the conversation.
I’m generally a happy person and I like to keep things positive and upbeat. But I feel a responsibility to write this. The image below is proof that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the Internet. After I posted it to Instagram to celebrate my blog’s four year anniversary, I received text messages from friends saying: “that picture is so sweet of you Dev and Mavis”, and comments reading “very cute photos guys”.
The truth is…when I look at this photo, I see sadness….
Sure, we have smiles on our faces. Sure, we have champagne in our hands. All seems jolly and great.
However, I was half in the bag (self-medicating) when this photo was taken (at 2:00PM on a Saturday). I then found space to be alone and cried for 15 minutes after. I don’t want to dive into the why (maybe another time when I build up the courage). For now, this post is purely proof that carefully curated images are not always 100% what they seem. You never know what may be hidden behind a smile. You never know what someone may be going through.
I saw a quote that really resonated with me on Wednesday. It was “sad birds still sing”.
It’s so easy to compare your life to an influencer on YouTube or Instagram. I’m guilty of it. It often makes me feel down or like I’m not doing enough. That I’m not working hard enough. Perhaps I should sleep less to get more done. My life could be better. I could be happier.
But it finally hit me when I took and posted this photo. It was like a punch in the stomach. I always knew I shouldn’t believe everything I saw on Instagram as fine and dandy. But it’s so hard to truly believe it until you’ve FELT it. And at this very moment…I felt like a fraud.
This is my reminder to you that what you see is just an image. You never know what could be going on behind the scenes. Which is exactly why you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Sure, you may want their carefully curated life, but you have no idea what battles they may facing on the other side of the lens.