One of the most ridiculous expectations I feel the weight of lately is from the ever growing monster – social media.
Maybe I’m particularly sensitive to this topic because I work in digital marketing and am therefore constantly surrounded by it, but I know that even if I remove myself from my day job – this would still be an issue to me. And therefore I assume it must be an issue for others as well.
When it comes to my social media channels I get questioned by others when I’m not active… where have I been? Am I doing okay? How could I possibly be having a good time if I’m not sharing photos and video streams of my experiences? How will I ever be immortalized if not by my social media feed?
I can’t solely hold others accountable for that either – I judge myself when I haven’t ‘connected’ with others by wishing a virtual Happy Birthday or not liking a friends pictures for a while. I’m especially hard on myself when I realize I haven’t written a blog in a few weeks.
Because of this expectation and pressure (from others and myself) to be active online, it has now become another job. A job I don’t get paid for but it’s arguably more important than money because it houses and maintains my online personality (ego) and binds my ‘connections’ (I use that term very loosely) with others.
So I now have this full time job online that I didn’t realize I signed up for and I don’t get paid for… this job fuels and inspires my ego and it does a great job at maintaining below average connections with other people. Expectation is constantly looming – I must be productive to uphold this personality I have created.
This standard is there to prove to myself and to others that I am not only surviving but rather, I am thriving in life.
The constant weight of this intricate web of proving self worth that extends past our personal connections and into this giant world wide rat race. Clearly, the ego is alive and thriving – more than ever before.
So how do we escape?
It seems so simple… we disconnect.
Disconnect from the noise – the noise that is technology and interpersonal relationships. The noise that IS the rat race. The noise that is the relentless ego.
I’ve come to a point where I now see, very clearly, how crucial it is for my mental health to spend a lot of time alone. As much as I am an extroverted person, I believe that every person needs that quality introspective time. And we need it often. Especially with the social pressure to constantly be connected.
I started realizing the importance of this when I got into my current relationship. My boyfriend and I realized how the only way our relationship was going to stay in a state of bliss and happiness was if we both focused on our personal growth and health – first and foremost. Our relationship (though held very sacredly) is not a third entity. He and I are separate people – who focus on our own health – which in turn allows our relationship to flourish and constantly be in an upward motion of progress.
The same needs to be implemented in every aspect of our lives. We need to keep in mind the importance of putting ourselves (our TRUE selves) before any other obligations… especially those that are almost solely based on inflating the ego. Prioritizing time with ourselves and putting aside the spellbinding need for maintaining the same social and material standards as others is so crucial.
We need that time to disconnect from the outside world – spending time in our own temples. Often. Lighting scented candles in our hearts, visualizing what we want to materialize in our world, embracing our guides or our gods or ourselves (whichever resonates) and spending time relaxing into our own being. We need that time of primarily focusing on our own health so that we can then spread that energy with others.
“The meaning of your life depends on which ideas you permit to use you. Who you think you are determines where you put your attention. Where you direct your attention creates your life experiences, and brings a new course of events into being. Where you habitually put your attention is what you worship. What do you worship in this mindstream called your life?” – Gangaji