"My life looks better on the Internet than it does in real life. Everyone’s life looks better on the internet than it does in real life." -Shauna Niequist
It's time I confess to you all something I've tried to keep hidden. It started as a playful acquaintance, a curious encounter if you will, and has spiraled into a passionate love affair. To be quite literal... I am sleeping with the internet. And from what I hear around town, the internet is kind of a floozy, sleeping with all my friends and family as well. The internet lacks all moral compass catholic school taught me but even though its flaws and toxicity are blaring out from my iHome, I love it still.
The internet is the popular girl in high school and we all want to be her new best friend. But she chooses her favorites at random. On facebook, one can post a beautiful work of art and barely scrap by with four or five likes. But, scroll down further and see that someone else has posted a generic Audrey Hepburn quote and the likes become a gang of paparazzi following Kanye and Kim. The internet, I am beginning to learn is a fickle friend, loving you one minute and ignoring you the next.
So why do we love it? Because everyone wants everyone to think their life is an E! True Hollywood Story in the making. We strive for a perfection that can only be found in instagram filters and pinterest dream boards. I think that as a generation that hates to be told no, we have found a way to publish a photoshopped perfect picture that allows us to show off partial truths as reality. We fix our flaws with rose tinted lenses and show off our exquisite taste with pins that can never be purchases.
I scrolled through my instagram account (@thelifeofkbgirl) this morning and it got me thinking. My life looks amazing... why do I ever complain? I hang out in chic cafes, have beautiful friends with whom I drink sangria, and have outfits that would make Rachel Zoe proud. I mean I basically should call Bravo right now and demand that they send a film crew.
But you know what we don't show? I don't show the my tear stained cheeks on the nights I miss my boyfriend. I hide the stories about the Friday nights spent in because going out seems like such a chore. And the days where I feel like a giant due to the glories of womanhood? Yeah. Definitely don't tweet about that. There's no filter to fix bad days, so we don't share them. People don't make pinning boards about all the things they hate about themselves. We pin about workout routines, not our current weight. There is an element of honesty that is missing and I worry for the generations to come. In a world of growing anxiety found in children as early as five years old, is it any wonder young girls are starving themselves to be thin? I saw a ten year old boy lifting weights at my gym last week. I wanted to say, Whoa... slow down there bud. But they're plugged in and they're seeing what we value and they want it too.
I love the internet. I love falling asleep to the lullaby of a good Netflix sitcom (House of Cards anyone?) but with great power comes great responsibility. Take a note from Peter Parker's uncle. The internet is a great tool to show all that is good and ideal, but I smile when I see facebook statuses celebrating pure truths. Like the campaign of "Strong is the new Skinny" or empowering the movement that allows everyone the right to say "I Do." Without the internet, many movements would lose their momentum, and with it, many ideas are turned into acts.
My love affair with the internet is not one I see ending anytime soon. In fact I was just a part of a launch of putting a retail store online. Great things come from these screens and I believe in the power of wifi. But every once in a while I want us to use this magical channel to make someone's day better, to say I stand next to you in what you are trying to achieve. We are great at putting the capital I in internet, it's our history. But let's clear our cache and try capitalizing the N for networking. Because the the popular girl in high school becomes the orange skinned drop out that you keep as a facebook friend for a laugh. It's your network, your friends, your world that's real and permanent. I'm not canceling my instagram account anytime soon, and as you all know I love to share. But I am going to try and tone down my filters, because rose tinted lenses are hard to see through in the dark.