“Wow! She’s so lucky to be living in the UK! She gets to explore all of the Europe in her holidays!”
“Oh look they look so happy and the restaurant they are at looks so fancy! I wish I could try different cuisines every other week too!”
“They’ve got such beautiful regional parks and beaches to go picnicking every summer! And look at us we are stuck in this sweltering heat and never ending load shedding!”
Reminds you of something? Perhaps one of your outbursts every now and then when you see friends enjoying themselves, check-ins at fancy restaurants, photos at mind boggling destinations. It’s natural to want and desire what you don’t have. Perhaps even feel pangs of jealousy at times. And also forget the blessings you already have. No, this one isn’t about being thankful to Allah for what we already have (though that is one of the topics on my mind) but this one is about the “real truth” behind the “likes” generating “perfect life” depicted in the social media.
Check-ins at amazing eateries and photos of irresistible delicacies don’t necessarily mean that the person gets to enjoy such fancy food every now and then. I mean look at me! I am pretty much guilty of the check-ins and photos of tempting food however what people looking at those social media statuses fail to realise is that I live in a country where halal options are extremely limited and it’s once in a blue moon that we do discover a good restaurant offering good halal food and even they start to become repetitive after a while due to lack of options!
Photos of the beautiful destinations around Europe of friends living in the UK doesn’t mean they are out and about all the time. They are certainly not “partying” every weekend. All these little tours cost a lot of working hours during the year and of course money.
There is this perception in Pakistan that whoever is living abroad must have a comfortable life…no political rallies blocking the roads, no putting up with load shedding, a clean and pollution free environment and perhaps fancy cars and nice homes. Well, I’d say that even though this may be true to some extent but people fail to see the “harsh truth” behind this so-called perfect life.
Okay, let me give our own example…it must seem like an awesome life here at New Zealand with amazing views all around me, clear blue skies…perhaps I am living in Paradise, no? Okay so here’s the reality…behind the perfect life depicted by the social media are numerous hours my husband puts at work so much that at times he’s working in the middle of night, there is my daily chore list…with no domestic help and no family support I manage everything on my own from washing dishes to cooking to cleaning the house to changing my babies nappies and the list goes on.
The I love you, mom, I miss you dear friend statuses with old photographs might look pretty-pretty but behind those little one liners are those times when I feel lonely for not having any friends and family close by, are those times when my daughter is ill and we long for some elder to support us and give us any advice that would make her feel better, are those little and new things my daughter learns and does and we don’t have her grandparents and aunts and uncles to share her stories with.
Perhaps these are some aspects social media fails to show the world. It’s not always the goody-goody picture you see on your news feed every time you pick up your cell phone to check Facebook. Every person has his struggles. Every person has his points of highs and lows…it cannot be highs all the time as this is not how Allah has made the world.
So next time when your relative posts a picture of their newly decorated lounge don’t think how rich their family is…who knows perhaps they bought it on mortgage and are striving hard to pay it off.
Every time you see your friends celebrating their bubs first birthday don’t just think about how perfect everything is for her, perhaps her toddler is still not sleeping through the night and she may have been yearning for a good night’s sleep for over a year.
Next time your acquaintance posts a picture of the delicious Iftar she prepared or how pretty she looks all dressed up on Eid, doesn’t just admire her dress and drool over the food pictures…who knows how lonely she might be feeling during this Holy Month and auspicious occasion, sitting in one corner of the world away from her family and friends.
The Perfect Life depicted on the social media is far from reality. Each person has his shares of hardships, his share of sorrows, his share of joys and happiness. They may not choose to disclose their problems to the world but that doesn’t mean there are no problems or that their lives are picture perfect. Each one of us fights our own battle. You will never feel that your life is perfect until you give up on admiring and longing to live the life others live. You may not have what they have….but probably you have something they crave for every moment!
(Please note…this post is in no way targeted at the hardships and struggles people living outside Pakistan face nor is this a reflection of my personal life – this is a general post on something I have observed)
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