From The Outside Looking In
When I was younger, I would always imagine my life to be like the T.V shows I would watch. Every time I was out with my friends I imagined that the day would be one great adventure full of surprise and laughs. Every time I would see a beautiful girl in the street I would think about our potential love story to be. Basically I thought life was playing out just like a teen sitcom. When looking back on it however, the reality was my friends and I ran around the streets causing trouble and I would stare at girls for far too long in public. No coming of age adventure and no adolescent love story. Hindsight is a bitch.
As much as we imagine our lives to be this great fantasy, they rarely are the same as our misguided memories play them out to be. A lot of the time when we were aiming to be like our heroes on T.V, we got up to things that got us into a lot of trouble and the laughs of a fake world became struggles that we really could have avoided. However, this was back in the 90’s and early 00’s where media was much less available and less influential to our lives.
Today we are constantly influenced by many forms of media, mainly that of a social variety. Now our heroes are not only on Television, but your neighbour down the street with more followers than you. The scenario’s of a teen sitcom are now played out in photos and snap chats by our peers. To truly feel a part of today’s society people have to keep up with what is happening around them, no matter how fake it all appears to be. By imitating these popular scenarios of today, the behaviours of a lot of our youth are changing to an even more negative light. The grip on reality is loosening.
Now, being well out of my adolescence I feel the best way to get a grip on reality is to once again imagine myself as the character in the T.V. But now it is from a very different view, an objective one — from the outside looking in. My favourite characters were always the one’s that broke the fourth wall, they would always be able to reflect on their situation and tell the audience what they were thinking. I never realised until I got older that this was a productive way to live life in general, reflecting on situations to gain a desired outcome.
As joyful and entertaining as our lives may be in our head by copying ideas in the media and presenting them in a certain way, the actual fact is that what we are doing is completely different.
If we were to watch our lives play out on T.V, we would be very surprised with the program. The Friday night out where you thought you were King of the Dancefloor and irresistible to all the girls would likely be quite opposite. No matter how good the pictures make it look or the euphoria you felt in your mind made it feel, truly using hindsight will allow you to see the reality of the situation. No girls +a lot of wasted money on alcohol = a BAD hangover. As funny and relatable as that sounds, the actual reality of a lot of these situations is wasted time. Time that could be spent being productive towards your passion or saving towards a goal.
Another strong form of media for people today are reality shows, and with a bit of hindsight we can see why these programs themselves, to an extent, are fake. Scenarios are set up and situations are amplified by the presence of a camera crew. No different to the way your Instagram post makes your night look amplified even when looking back the next day with your lonely, broke hangover. The desire to keep up with the crowd is overtaking the passion to achieve your goals.
The life which we are living is quite less flashy and polarizing, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. We have a problem that stems back from the television shows we watched as kids, that has evolved into being the star of our own social media. Our lives are advertised for the rest of the world to see, similar to what we only saw for the lives of Celebrities back when we were kids. Everyone now has the opportunity to become a celebrity in their own light. This pressure to have a celebrity style life or simply a life fit for T.V is unrealistic.
By viewing your true reality from the outside looking in, it is possible to see just how silly some things are and what needs to be done to live the life we want. This isn’t a new concept at all, it is just put into better terms of a society saturated by media. Imagine watching yourself without all of the filters and hand picked scenarios and see if this is really the way you would want to be presenting yourself. What I am talking about is the process of reflection and self-realisation in order to form your own genuine identity. An identity that you can build on to become the best version of yourself away from unrealistic pursuits and pressures of a fake world.
Break the fourth wall and reflect on what it is you truly want. What are you doing at this moment that is contributing towards the reality you wish to have? Work towards creating that life for yourself instead of making it look better than it is. Then you will truly live your fantasy, and one worth watching from the outside looking in.