Seeing loved up couples on social media makes me want to vomit at the best of times. During Christmas, when you’re fresh out of a break up, it’s a new level of fucked.
Okay. I am perfectly aware that sharing photos of oneself being happy is not a crime against humanity. I know people can express whatever they want online. But I am immature and a cunt.
Also. This blog is not for people in loving relationships with a penchant for selfie sticks.
It’s for people who are going through shit, and finding it difficult to deal with the onslaught of happy couples staring at them online.
Let’s kick this off by quoting arbitrary science. Yep, researchers found that couples who post fuck tonnes of photos of themselves online are more likely to be insecure in their relationship.
The study, which was published under the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found ‘relationship visibility’ and over posting may mask relationship insecurity.
Suck on that couples. Wow. I sure can be mean.
Couples, fuck off my feed
When your heart has been ripped from your chest and you’re convinced you’ll die alone, it can be upsetting to see two happy faces smiling back at you, reminding you of what you had.
Knowing couples who post loved up relfies* online may not be as happy as they seem, kind of takes the edge off. In fact, it pays to keep this in mind whenever you’re scrolling. Especially if you’re low.
Even if you’re not in the midst of a break up, seeing couples online can be super annoying. Even when you’re in a relationship it can be annoying. Hey, maybe it’s just, you know, fucking annoying.
It’s okay to feel ugly emotions
Feeling pissed off at photos of couples may make you feel like a huge jerk. I want you to know that (mostly) you’re not. It’s okay to feel pissed off or jealous or sad when you see snaps of dickheads in love.
Your emotions exist for a reason – they flag when something is not in balance or needs to be expressed, and feeling them helps you to work through that something.
I’m not saying we should all hope for our friends to be miserable. In fact, seeing my friends happy makes my heart warm as fuck. I’m not a psychopath.
But, sometimes, before the fuzzy, I feel annoyed.
Social media is a highlights reel
When I am low, I am more likely to scroll mindlessly through feeds on Instagram or Facebook. This can sink me even lower, as I compare myself to functional attractive people with no pores leading wonderful lives.
This year I traveled around the US, Canada and Israel. Most of the way I had a great friend, who also happened to be a photographer, by my side. Needless to say my Insta feed looked awesome AF.
People would message me, and say how great my life looked. And it occurred to me how, although I was having a good time, the reality was often different.
I felt low many days on my travels, but my smiling face and quips on social media did not convey this. When my travel partner left me in New York, I remember feeling lonely, and calling my dad crying on the phone.
Still, I insta-storied like I was having a blast.
Social media does not represent the messiness of life
I’m not saying we’re all depressed, and using social media to mask how shitty our lives are.
What I am saying is that social media cannot capture the complexity of our real and often messy lives.
What it does capture is the stuff we want people to see.
I remember hearing once that identity is the stories we choose to tell about ourselves. And I believe this is social media to a T.
We choose to show what we show, and this carefully curated feed becomes our online identity.
Take back your feed
If you’re fresh out of a break up, unfollow couples who post copious selfies, just for the time being.
It’s okay to feel triggered. You’re in a tough place. Make life as easy as you can for yourself.
Whether you’re going through a break up or not, I am a big advocate for curating your feed.
On Instagram, I used to follow skinny chicks in bikinis, which made me feel like my curvy body was not okay.
Then, I followed a bunch of artists who made me smile, dog memes, and kook slams, because watching people fall over is always funny.
Now, when I scroll through my feeds, I feel (mostly) happy.
Let’s blow up social media
If you’re dealing with a break up this Christmas, I wish social media could be obliterated. I wish happy couples would fuck off your feed and I wish your ex would fuck off and die.
But only for a few months or so, because killing people for real is bad.
* A relfie is a ‘relationship selfie, and I refuse to use this made-up word ever again.
** Head here for more on dealing with your ex on social.