After years of wondering how the hell Instagram (IG) worked, I finally joined it and gotta attest that those visuals alone can work their magic. Everything just looks so glossy and fancy, and everybody looks “rich as f***” (in the words of my favorite Uncle 2chainzzzz). I just be perusing sometimes and wondering “which levels na? When I go hammer reach?” However, the funny thing is that not everything posted on social media is supposed to be oppressive but somehow they get to you depending on whether it’s your thing or not.
A few examples…
- That person that stays posting pictures of their countless vacations and trips. You name the place, and they've been there. And you’re feeling the oppression because to afford one solo vacation requires you to give up so much while for some others it seems like they have an unending supply of money, time, and resources.
- That other person that posted pictures of plenty plenty high end shopping bags and gave a shoutout to their wonderful husband/boyfriend on some “Shout outs to my baby for spoiling me. Love you boo!” and you can’t help but dash one side eye to your hardworking husband/boo who works so hard to make you happy but somehow his level of hard work never reach Neiman Marcus and Saks. And even if designer names aren't your thing, it could be something else that you would love to have in your life but you and your man can’t afford it (e.g. Macbook, Ipad, BB10, Samsung S4 etc etc. Pick your poison and there’s a woman out there posting a picture of it and hailing her boo.
- That person that keeps tensioning you with pictures of their weight loss journey. It seems like they step on a treadmill and instantly lose 10lbs. Meanwhile you are out here struggling to lose weight even though you’ve been eating right and working out for the past 2 months. See, things like this aren’t even supposed to be oppressive but I know that sometimes they are.
- That other one that is always doing #Himship #Goinghometomyman #Mybabyboo up and down the place with plenty coupled up pictures to boot. You haven’t even had a negro say hi to you in the last 8 months, talk less of a man to go home to. O diro easy.
Let’s shift from IG real quick and enter Twitter and Facebook…
You’re seeing tweets and status updates like “God is Good! I passed my MCAT on the first try and I’m interviewing to get into *insert the medical school of your dreams*” and you’re wondering when this same good God is going to do it for you. You’ve taken the MCAT at least 2x now…
That husband that posts a picture of the brand new car that he just bought for his wife in honor of her giving him some bouncing baby boys and girls and you’re feeling that oppression because you and your spouse have been trying for children for God knows how many years.
I can go on and on but it’s so much stuff on social media that get to at least every one of us depending on the things in life that are doing you.
For some of us it’s marriage of course. Even for me who mainly doesn't feel the societal pressure of marriage, every single time that I log into that place called Facebook, the first things assailing my eyes are at least 3 people’s engagement photo shoots, traditional weddings, white weddings and all things weddings and I’m like “Whoa! Are there any single people left in this world?? Am I going to be the last woman standing in this single struggle?” I tire.
For some it’s career…folks be posting about working in places and fields that we would love to work in talking about “I love my job…so blessed.xx” and oppression sets in when you think about the million and one resumes that you've sent out and the million and one rejection letters/emails that you received. I remember when I was in college and wanted to work for PWC so badly (after they rejected my ass) and it used to pepper me when all the accounting kids in my school would update their professional networks on Facebook to PWC. It wasn’t a game yo.
For some it’s material goods. You’re looking at all the cars, gadgets, bags, shoes that your mates are enjoying and wondering when you will be able to afford to buy such fancy things without drinking garri for 2 months.
For some it’s the fertility issue. You really want kids and have been trying for ages, and everybody around you is sharing pictures or stories of their little ones. This is also not meant to be oppressive I'm sure but we are only human and I bet something like that would get to me every now and then if I was in that boat.
For others it’s just a person’s overall packaging. Some people just seem to have their lives so well put together. Great jobs, probably did something like buy a house when they were 25, if they are female they probably got married at 28, had their 2 kids by 31 and bounced back to size 4 frames in 5 seconds, seemingly great husbands, and a seemingly great life…and they are out there on your web feed of whatever your social media poison is, oppressing the heck out of little ol’ you who is trying to get a handle on something in your life.
E no easy my people.
What do you do? I have a friend who doesn't do Facebook or Instagram (very smart girl). I think that’s a definite start to curb the oppression in your life and learn to stay in your lane. But if you’re like me and you like to keep these forms of media open for small amebo purposes, the next best thing to do is to try and rein it in sometimes. You don’t gotta be on social media every single day. Sometimes a break is good from all the shenanigans, especially if you are down in the dumps and not feeling that great about yourself. The last thing that you want to see is somebody happily posting pictures or talking about something when you’re feeling some type of way about that particular something. My final word on this: In the words of my wise friend “Social media is filled with a lot of smoke and mirrors” aka things are not always what they seem. I remember a story about somebody who posted a picture of her brand new designer bag gifted to her by her “dearest husband” only for us to get behind the scenes of the story and find out that her so-called dearest husband had beaten her the week before and then bought her the bag to apologize for his behavior. Of course we saw a picture of the bag…a picture of the black eyes nko? Not so much. I’m sure somebody out there was feeling oppression on 3 levels: 1. Husband 2. Dear Husband 3. Expensive Bag. So just goes to show that while some people are truly living the life, not everybody is truly living the life so don’t be too quit to turn a bright shade of green when you read about or see how some people are doing it up.
And that my people, is all she said.
Have a great rest of the week.