Why Feeling Static in Your Life is Just A Social Media Illusion


By Ariel Sullivan

It’s the feeling when nothing is happening. When nothing is changing. Not for the good, but not necessarily for the bad either. It’s like you’re stuck in the unwavering stability of merely existing.

There’s an unease that I know we all feel when nothing is currently happening in the present moment. It arises when there are no important events occurring in our own lives, yet they seem to be happening to literally everyone else around us.

I often feel this way as I am staring into my phone screen, religiously watching Friends on my Netflix app from “The One Where it All Began,” all the way to “The Last One.” Then, in-between breaks, I check my Facebook feed and see that my friends are being accepted into graduate schools, traveling across various European cities, revealing their new dream job offer, or posting pictures of their move to a new city. And here I am wondering how it is that I could forget the episode where Phoebe was married to a gay ice dancer.

It’s just as I’m absorbed in my show, something that isn’t terribly rewarding as far as life achievements go, that I wonder why the world seems to be moving without me. It’s like I’m standing in the middle of a street and the sidewalks, streetlights, and all the people around me are on a travellator, being propelled forward. And they’re passing right by me.

I’m idle.

I’m not presently writing an award-winning script. I’m not working on a project. I can’t afford to travel. I’m still in school pursuing my undergraduate degree. I don’t have a new job that aligns with my career goals. All the pictures I post on my social media accounts are of my three monster animals and their outrageous behavior, or, evidence of how I thought my makeup looked good that day. I’m not doing anything but watching everyone else around me do. I’m not moving.

Or at least, I feel like I’m not moving.

And I wonder, is it that I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything or is it that I am just oversaturated with the good news? Am I not supplied with enough of the boring things, which if they were actually detailed, would undoubtedly make me feel more in tune with my peers? More of an equal?

The boring stuff is just the in-between moments that no one ever talks about. People don’t post on their social media accounts that they just unloaded the dishwasher. Unless there’s something extremely out of the ordinary or marginally interesting and/or humorous about the moment they put the glassware in the correct cupboard, it goes without mention.

As I’m sitting, scrolling through my friends list, and seeing what I perceive to be my friend’s major accomplishments, I need to remember that those same people also have the in-between moments too. Yes, they were just promoted today, but yesterday they were also walking their dog. And they’ll walk their dog again today and maybe they’ll follow it up with a Game of Thrones binge fest alone in their apartment, like me.

So as I’m overanalyzing how my current static state is making me stir-crazy, I’ll try to remember that the in-between moments are just as important as all the other ones, because they lead up to all the big moments. Just because something isn’t happening right now, doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in the near future. As long as I’m working towards those moments, they will come.

When it seems like everyone and their mom is doing something so far beyond what I’m doing right now, I’ll keep in mind that although it appears like they’re going somewhere cool and notable, they’re simply moving at a different pace. And sometimes that other pace looks better on-screen.

I hope you can remember that, too, when you’re feeling like life has left you behind.

Ariel is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, click HERE

{featured image via unsplash}

One thought on “Why Feeling Static in Your Life is Just A Social Media Illusion

  1. Jake says:

    Wow this was exactly what I needed to read thank you! ☺️ I’m currently in one of those in-between moments where everyone around me is either having children, getting married, traveling, or moving and I’m just here stuck doing the same thing I’ve been doing for the past year with nothing big or exciting in the foreseeable future and it’s been driving me bonkers for a while now. I’m glad to hear that this sort of thing isn’t just happening to me and now you’ve shown me a different perspective that I’d never thought of I feel I’m able to keep pushing through to eventually my next big moment. Once again thank you 😊


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