What had started as a casual relationship with social media became something serious when I started stopping by at least one social media platform once every day at a bare minimum. I was hooked, still am.
In my daily visits, I made a world of virtual friends and idols. I took interest in what they were upto, and I selectively let them know what I was doing too. I liked them and they liked me too; I double tapped, and they double tapped right back. They reacted to my status and posts and I unfailingly returned the favor. I developed a special connection and interest with people I met in this virtual world and I enjoyed popularity in the virtual space. It follows that I developed a shallow understanding of people’s circumstances that I so blindly believed.
It is of such visits that I discovered one trophy couple: Daniel and Dannieller. But then one day I woke up to the news that they had broken up! How? Why? I felt cheated. I had looked at their life and admired it in every way. They looked happy, they went on holidays and publicly displayed their affection. He took time to appreciate her and confess his love for this woman who had taken his heart to a captivity he would gladly live in for a lifetime. And she said he was loyal, smart, her dream come true and all the sappy sentiments a girl in love possibly could….
He on the other hand would say that she had put him in a dream that he never wanted to wake up from…They wore matching Tees written king and queen, mine and his, Boo and Mrs Boo, beauty and the beast, I stole in her heart, I keep his heart. They held hands and stared at each other on every morning Instagram photo.The way they looked at each other was a walk down the aisle e’ryday. He was a man who knew the rules of chivalry, he did every single right thing and rightly so. He knew how to kiss her by the forehead, take her out, surprise her with pleasant deliveries and jealously guard her. I remember calling a small assembly of my fellow insatiable women to wonder where such cultured men were bred, and if they walked the same streets we did. We cracked our heads wondering what women did to win and tame a man like that, I mean that kind of loyalty was out of this world. (There is a way these men of ours were created but ‘issorait). We scrolled down photos looking for flaws and stuff to hate on but nada! State of the art. So the best we could do was join the #relationshipgoals revolution. I bet some spent the next few days throwing hints of how that could be ‘us’ if you were thoughtful like that guy or walking them down the streets of instagram just to show them how other women were being treated. (Ona vile wasichana wengine wanafanyiwa vitu mzuri na ma-bae wao sort of lines)… Struggles like those; but what do I know *shrugs shoulders.
It was the first of many other breaks of what seemed to be perfect couples…
We live in an era where we balance between the real life we are living, and the life we want. In my many years of living, I have one take home. Things are not always what they seem; and truer so when you find yourself having to go the extra mile to prove that they are that good. We all struggle, we all fail. We know the blue tick zone and stand ups and they all know the ‘you are not putting as much effort on me as you should’ line and the noisy mornings for no apparent reason. We all call up friends on gray relationships and rant; and they all mention at one point or another how they cannot understand what she wants or how insatiable/demanding she is. As long as a man is being a man and a woman a woman; there will ALWAYS be a compromise and struggle and as long as money is being earned the hard way, there will always be the sweat and the discipline to spare it. But the grass is always greener on social media, it is a world of perfection. Social media platforms have given us the opportunity to hide behind screens. It allows others to judge us for the lives we want them to think we have; the lives we portray online. If others can look at our photos positively and think we have great lives, then maybe we can too. We don’t want our friends to think we’re lonely, so we post photos and statuses that show how much fun we can have. We don’t want anyone to know we eat a lot, so we post photos of artsy salads. We do not want the world know that we are suffocating in our relationships, so we post photos of the sunny days. It is all about skewing people’s perception of reality. Try being face-to-face with someone and it will suddenly change your point of view. Most of us don’t have perfect lives. We all don’t.
So why say otherwise online? Maybe because that’s the fun of it, it’s how it was meant to be. Upward social comparison is what the experts call it.
PS: Never compare your real life to someone else life controlled online. Social media has created a jealous behavior over illusions. We are envious of lives, relationships and lifestyles that don’t even exist.
Big little girl | story teller for all seasons | Kenyan |