Is social media my porn?

Last night, like almost every night before I go to bed, I was satisfying my social media cravings. Browsing through facebook and instagram looking at pictures from people I know and people I don’t even know. When this post came up on the screen saying “Stand up with determination, go to bed with satisfaction” I started thinking about how I felt about my performance today: On a scale from one to ten, how determined was I and how satisfied can I be? Workwise I managed to finish everything that I had to do, but what about my personal agenda?

This is where social media comes into play. I mean, looking at all those pictures I feel like my personal agenda should look something like that:

  1. Always look stunning.
  2. Have incredible abs.
  3. Love every minute of your life.
  4. Only eat photgraph worthy food.
  5. Be successful in your job.
  6. Spend most of your time surrounded by people.

And the list goes on and on and on.

I could keep on writing this list forever, but my real point is that seeing those pictures doesn’t make me more determined to go get them, but rather confuse me.

From a cognitive dissonance perspective, I suddenly try to make sense out of a huge variety of pictures which are in fact completely contradicting, such as the incredibly stunning looking blond model eating a pizza and drinking beer in the middle of the night after a long day at work, headding to the next job in the next city early in the morning, sending her loving boyfriend kisses via instagram. Of course I know that most of those pictures are fake and that the real context is completely different but it still makes me feel like I am the only person in the world, who has to accept trade offs: pizza and beer vs. abs, hard working vs. sleep, traveling around the world vs. long-term relationships.

Just the fact that I actually know that is not real but it still has a declining effect on my satisfaction every time makes me wonder if social media is like porn: Raising expectations that are just unrealistic and hence will lead to disappointment in real life. I guess I should really stop comparing myself to “actors”, getting rid of that feeling of inferior performance and just start being (as cheesy and clichéd as it sounds) the hero of my life.

That is easier said than done, especially with social media being so freaking addicting and influential. Well, coming back to that porn analogy, I guess I just have to start thinking about another statement I came across on Pinterest: “Sometimes life will f*ck you and you just have to change position and enjoy it somehow.”