Updated: Nov 1, 2019
It’s a fairly common topic that a lot of people have talked about and everyone has an opinion on but I don’t think I’ve ever written about it. If I have I apologise, I can probably speak to it a bit more eloquently now though.
It’s Halloween today, living where I do, out in the suburbs, I get a lot of trick-or-treaters coming around and I love that kids and families are safe to do that in the area I live. Once or twice in the past I’ve had a bunch of candy to give out, I’ve chucked on a scary movie and made a night of it. I’ve also been caught out a few times too and it has been the most awkward thing ever. I never want to be that rude guy who is clearly home but doesn’t want to open the door. So this year I’ve decided to retreat to the safety of the bar for a few hours to avoid them all together.
It got me thinking about the costumes that people wear though. Not just kids dressing up or adults creating elaborate cosplay, I’m talking about everyone in their every day lives. We all put on a costume every single day, showing the world what we want them to see of us, to think of us.
This is most prevalent on the social media platforms we use. I’m not going to rant against them like a lot of people do. I have varying opinions of each of the different ones, both on a moral and user experience level. They all have their positives and negatives, that isn’t the point I’m getting at here though.
I’m talking about the thing we are all guilty of, and yes I am aware that I’m generalising there, we all only put out into the world of social media what we want other people to see, an idealised version of our lives.
In doing so it creates a weird and gross economy of everyone seeing other peoples lives and thinking theirs sucks in comparison, so to combat that they only share the moments of positivity in their own lives and the cycle goes on and on.
I think it is really really important that everyone understands that what they see of other peoples lives on instagram, twitter, Facebook or even in text messages is not the whole story. For some people it is all they feel comfortable sharing and are perfectly okay with everything else they have in their lives. For other people it is a mask that they may need to keep on in order to get by and deal with whatever else they’ve got going on. Some people have gotten so used to only showing the highlights that the idea of sharing the rest of it just doesn’t occur to them and others are afraid of letting their guard down for fear of what might be revealed. However you chose to share or not share your life is valid and your own choice.
I am not trying to judge or throw shade at how anyone conducts themselves online or in person. You do you. My advise is always to not jump to conclusions or live you life trying to aspire to what someone else is putting out into the world.
I’m a pretty open book. Hell, this blog is exactly that, an open book on my life. There are a lot of things I think and write that aren’t published; here’s a little secret, those days I say I didn’t feel like writing anything, chances are I probably did, it just isn’t something I wanted to publish for one reason or another. That’s my choice. For the most part though, this year especially, I’ve been a completely open book on here. I don’t think the same can be said for other outlets I use. Facebook I’ve distanced myself from completely; I don’t really touch it at all anymore if I can avoid it and the only reason I still have an active account is because of a few groups that only use that platform to communicate. Twitter I used to be way more active on but don’t use too much any more, mainly checking it for breaking news. I use instagram more than anything else these days and have been doing so since I restarted my account earlier this year. I feel like it encapsulates both the best and worst of what I’m getting at with this post but I enjoy it at as a platform.
I’m guilty of only really showing the good parts of my life on there though. I think I might try and start being a bit more open with the rest too. Even if it is just a post to plug a blog where I can go into a bit more detail. I’m going to start that tonight.
I’m actually feeling pretty good this evening; I’ve either spoken to or seen almost all of my favourite people, I’m out enjoying my evening in my favourite bar, drinking a delicious beer, feeling really good about writing this post and making notes for other ideas as they come to me and 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins just came on too, one of my absolute favourite songs. If I post a moody picture though, something with a filter and writing all over it, I bet it’ll make more people interested in what’s up, because for as much as we all look at how well people are doing in their lives, when we think something is going wrong we get more interested.
It sucks that it takes that for us to ask someone what’s up, but I guess it’s better than nothing. In an ideal world everyone would be open with how they’re feeling and everyone would care enough to ask the people they care about how they are feeling and get an honest answer.
This is something I’ve struggled expressing to people; we are all so used to getting half truths as answers when we ask how each other are, those masks and costumes again, that sometimes when you say you’re fine people don’t believe you! I can only speak for myself when I say that if you ask me how I am and I say I’m alright, it is because I am in fact alright. I might not be great, but I’m alright. If something was up I’d say so. I may not want to go into detail, but I’d tell you that no, I’m not alright. I’m not claiming to be better than anyone but I think if more people were honest to at least that level it would make everyones lives easier.
That was a little off topic at the end there but it all relates. I hope you all enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it. Sorry for any spelling or grammatical mistakes but I’m not going to proof read it before posting it. This is the moody picture I’ve used to try and lure people in from instagram, I’m actually in a pretty good mood this evening. How are you? Let me know in the comments, or better yet send me a message via text or instagram @jhewlett I’m genuinely curious.
Happy halloween y’all, see you in November.