These days, everyone is on social media, creating content, posting memes, or taking that dog filter selfie. Creating videos, taking pictures, and posting it to the Internet has become the norm, and not the anomaly.
If you have a phone, or even a computer, you are likely to have one form of social media, if not more. The reason for the great amount of social media usage is putting our lives online and watching other people’s lives. In this day and age, we have Youtubers. They vlog their lives and their viewers have an edited view into their world.
This act of sharing our lives online has become so commonplace that we don’t even question it anymore. Having an Instagrammable life is something that people try to do now. We go to the prettiest walls and try to get pictures. Your friend will hand you her phone so she can pose for photos like a model. We go on Instagram and catch up on other people’s lives.
In this sense, we are seeking community. We follow our friends online. As Lover came out, TSwift fans were all over Instagram posting stories of songs they liked from it. (Check out Lover!) There’s a reason why fan bases are so huge. Our love of that band or that show is something that we get to share with someone else.
But even community isn’t really it.
Why do we like sharing our lives online? Deep down we crave being known. In this day and age, we are in the loneliest time ever. There is greater access to tools to connect us with others, but still, we feel isolated and alone.
In many ways, getting likes and comments on any social platform is like someone saying to us “You’re seen. You’re heard. You’re not forgotten.”
Maybe you have amazing friendships and loved ones around you, but you still get lonely. Maybe you don’t really have friends. Whatever it is, we all seem to find some satisfaction in trying to make our presence known.
We crave acknowledge, but we truly crave being understood. There’s a difference from when someone is sympathetic vs empathetic. The sympathetic person can care for you, but they do not share in your experience. The empathetic person can understand how you feel and why you feel that way.
In lots of ways, the human experience gets lonely. We have this world that no one will ever share with us – our minds. We could be at a party that seems great, but if our mind is racing and we don’t feel seen, the party isn’t all that great.
The truth is sharing our lives online is a way of saying we are not alone and our words matter. I often think about the impact of the things I write on this blog. Whether or not I’m truly making a difference, I try not to let numbers get to me. This blog is about the questions I have in my life and trying to answer them with the best information at the time.
And if somehow, something I’ve said speaks to someone, that feels good. Knowing that I’m not alone in what I’m feeling or thinking makes this human experience feel a little less lonely.
In the midst of the thoughts and the daily scroll on social media, we can feel lost. As if all we do doesn’t compare, and in some ways, it doesn’t. Our lives don’t match the lives of those around us. And that’s okay. It’s okay to live a life that is uniquely yours, and still beautiful in every way.
I want to remind you that our lives matter. Even if no one is watching them. We have inherent value even if we are sharing every moment on Instagram.
Share it all. What’s your favorite thing to post online?