Apples to Elephants?

Posted on 14 December 2016

No one on the Internet is living the life you think they are. This is a good thing.

Social media and really anything digital is setup to be a near-constant stream of editorialised data. That means, we pick which bits and bytes we share. In doing so, we’re only showing a curated view of ourselves with the world. Yes, that editorial can be honest and real, but it’s only a piece of our lives.

In seeing this, we assume everyone is smarter, more successful, more interesting and so much happier than we are.

I only tweet or gram (Is that even a word?) when I have something interesting, funny or of value to share. In reality, 99% of my day is filled with non-interesting, non-funny stuff.

I know this about myself yet when I go online and read or see other people’s stuff, I assume they’re different, and somehow, their lives are awesome and interesting all of the time. That’s because all I see are their interesting bits and bytes.

My days typically involve: watering the garden and herb plants, polishing the car, cleaning my house and yard, staring out my window instead of writing or designing, sitting on my couch watching rubbish on TV, refreshing social (with my better half sitting beside me, on her ipad), and so many other absolutely mundane things that aren’t worth mentioning (except in this specific instance).

Looking through my own social feeds though, it’s all wonderful adventure, enjoying nature, photos of my awesome local area or my family doing something funny. Sure, I do all those things, but I’m not constantly doing things worth mentioning.

What I share online only represents a tiny portion of my life. Sure, I live a pretty ok life, and really don’t have anything to complain about (most of the time!), but still - it’s not nearly as interesting as a lot of people assume. And conversely, I’m sure a lot of other people I assume have an amazingly awesome, super interesting life are exactly the same as me.

Sometimes I’m too stressed out to post or write anything. Or, I’m too upset at something to say anything of value/interest. Or, I’m so slammed with work I ignore my health and sit at my computer for 14 hours a day like any other pleb.

Since most of my income is derived from doing new and untried things, I worry about that a lot too - which doesn’t make for a great photo or 140 character message. I worry about the future and a million other things regularly and it can be temporarily paralysing.

So why am I telling you all this?

I just want to illustrate that no one is living a perfect life. I’m not, you’re not, no one is. And that’s totally ok! Everyone’s got their own ups and downs. Everyone’s life is filled with f*** ups, mistakes, & disasters, but also amazing beauty. The bad stuff, the boring stuff, the stuff not worth mentioning, makes us value and hold precious the bits and bytes that are worth experiencing and sharing.

Choose to enjoy your life without comparing it to anyone else’s - which is hard, but necessary. It’s never apples to apples. Since you’re never seeing their whole story, it’s more like apples to elephants!