June 23, 2014

Let’s All Admit We Have Shit Days Yeah?

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 18.13.08

Nothing pisses me off more than when I fall into the shallow trap of social-media envy or the blatant “I WANT MORE” temper-tantrums of a five-year-old when I have no reason to, and when things are actually pretty darn rosy. Whenever I complain my Dad normally reels off things I have to be grateful for, and he’s right. Things are FANTASTIC and I am total dick for thinking otherwise. 

Yet, all of this social (over)sharing which continues to get worse, makes us all depressed apparently because we are hit in the face with a great big frying pan each morning of images of people strategically sharing the smallest fraction of their day: a) on holiday b) “freelancing from a delightful cafe/in bed” c) arriving at a five star hotel suite or d) looking really gorgeous  in clothes no one can ever be able to afford d) hehe gone shopping! e) hashtag selfie. 

Or we stumble onto a news site in which Kim Kardashian (or enter another e-celebrity) is just in general rolling around the globe with a trail of fifty pound notes behind her sexy derriere. On the Internet, every single person’s life is better than yours. 

(Disclaimer: but it’s not really). 

Now: let’s have a word, right here, right now, everybody. Let’s stop pretending that on the other side of that Instagram photo is a perfect life. It’s all bullshit. We ALL know it. I know that when I take a selfie there is a pile of dirty laundry in the corner, cropped the fuck out. Or before posting a picture of a twatty Latté I’ve spent ten minutes getting a good angle whilst my coffees gone cold. Or earlier that morning before posting that smiley selfie I was probably at the dentist howling in pain, I’m not going to do a selfie with the creepy dentist though, am I.

Look, I’m sure that photo of the infinity pool in South of France IS nice in reality, the one I look at whilst on a sweaty train to work, but, what we don’t know what ELSE is going on behind it. Could be really boring with dead flies in it. (Work with me here)..

I once had a holiday which looked f*cking fabulous on Instagram but in reality I couldn’t afford it and spent the few weeks on the phone to Natwest telling them I was sorry I’d overspent the credit card I wasn’t supposed to be using. Look, whatever, we all get carried away and that was a lesson to be learnt. But did anyone know that? NO. They were probably thinking I was a smug holiday life-lover rolling around without a care in the world, getting a sick tan and eating ice-cream for lunch  (which I was, until I came home, and thought “woops”). 

Perfectly placed breakfasts on Instagram are the icing on the X-PRO II cake: perfectly placed. No one actually wakes up with Cinderella-style birds and ickle mice running around hanging up ones washing and making a scrumptious breakfast in bed, with floral decorations, granola, fruit and dainty cutlery – nothing is picture perfect upon arrival. Not food anyway. Things need to be full on tampered with, with a good misleading angle, and a good eye for photography. Also anyone who has ever posted a picture of avocado toast please delete yourself from life (online and offline). 

Look I’m not completely dissing the Instagram world of styling, I too like a good picture as much as the next person, but what I’m saying it, let’s all quit get hot and bothered and envious of other people’s posts or lives. It’s not their actual lives. We all know that if you are really having “The Best Night Ever” you are too busy having the best night ever than posting it on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram every five minutes. Social media is a way to share with the world what you feel like sharing nothing more, nothing less. 

What’s more, I’m all for just excepting that we all have good days and bad days. I feel like at the moment everyone has so much pressure to be perfect all the time that sometimes it’s hard to jack it all in and say GUYS, I’M HAVING A SHIT ONE TODAY. That is why I was so impressed, in awe, and so full of respect for YouTube lady Zoella, who is currently doing “one vlog a day” (no mean feat) and she caved in yesterday. She uploaded a video entitled “Sometimes It All Gets A Bit Much with a disclaimer to say not to watch it if you were expecting some happy time. It was really sad to watch actually, she is sobbing, feeling “like a failure”, feeling like she’d let people down and had a day when it all got “too much”. DON’T WE ALL. Let’s be honest it really doesn’t matter if the whole world think you’re doing well; if you feel crap then that’s that.

I really loved her for doing that. Proving that even if you have the impossible “perfect life” (i.e. when people think getting invited to posh events or mingling with celebrities equals happiness and perfection – WRONG) that you also have shit down days. I really thought it was brave to admit that nothing is ever always rosy and shiny. It took strength to put that out there and I bet people really resonated with it. She probably made a lot of people feel less alone, and less silly for having a “crying in the toilet at work” day.

I know I always bang on about it but another article that is beautifully honest is this one by Dawn O’Porter. At the premiere of Bridesmaids she basically admits not having enough money to get her hair done and felt a bit shitty at that point in her life. I just think it’s so brave to be that honest about life’s ups and downs. People who fake everything being so perfect all the time must be completely mentally exhausted. Sometimes I just want to shake people and say: it’s OK if you have a shit day. Just let it out and say it. It feels good to be honest.

The point of this was to say let’s TRY and be grateful for what we’ve got and block out all those tempting warning signs which make you feel bad for not doing enough or not being enough. In actual fact, we’re doing more and working longer hours without realising it because we are so “plugged in”all the time. It’s harder than ever to switch off. It’s OK if you don’t have enough cool stuff to Instagram every week. Let’s be honest, we’re all stuck at a desk most of the time, or planning our next escape. 

  • Zoe

    Best blog post I’ve read in a LONG time! 🙂

  • I was actually thinking about this the other day, the ‘fake reality’ of the internet which I spend hours buying into makes my reality seem so shit. Bloggers try to be ‘real’ but a smile on a photograph or a ‘LOL’ means nothing.

My Book

“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”

– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE

"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"

– The Debrief

“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic