Last week, while scrolling through my Instagram feed, my friend sent me a message which read: “Do you know what ruins everything in life?” Full of confidence, I answered: “Living in a lie”. Although she did agree with me, she went on to tell me that this wasn’t the answer she expected me to give. Enlightening me, she said next: “For you, for me, and for many others in our entourage, I think that social media is what ruins everything in life”. I started to overthink, like I always do. I used to perceive social media as a tool to take away your personal life, as you develop the habit of not keeping things private anymore. I guess she was also talking about how much influence these platforms exercise on us, making us waste valuable time without even noticing.
All of these thoughts invaded my brain within two seconds before she could continue her chain of thoughts: “Quotes trigger all of your doubts, thoughts and unrealistic scenarios. Can you relate?” Being the person who doesn’t talk much, she stopped talking and I felt like she was giving me the honour to continue on her theory.
When she brought this topic up, I started to focus on the effects that quotes have had over me. This led to me asking myself: “For the last two years, which quotes and paragraphs irreversibly changed my life?” Hurtfully, I had come to realize that the so-called “five red flags to know if you’re in a toxic relationship” had generated various inexistent problems over the past years.
The “guide to know if you’re healthy” has increased my anxiety level, given that I saw it as the only way to a perfect body and a stable mental health.
The unrealistic expectations of losing weight and finding myself have led me to believe that losing weight is the only thing that will give you self confidence in your body.
But can I blame myself for having such thoughts and being so naïve? I surely can’t.
Unless any of you have been warned that these kinds of quotes will incite your insecurities and dark ideas, don’t blame yourselves.
Nowadays, people find themselves following the trend generators without second-guessing their decisions. If you try to ask them about the reason why they are pursuing that trend, they look at you and stay silent. However, their silence is not one of wisdom; rather, it is one of nothingness since they hold no answers to such questions. How many times have you been the victim of these kinds of traps? Many days, you were crying and on the edge of breaking down. You would ask all of your friends and family for advice without ever truly finding the answer. Hopelessly, you decide to ask Google: “How to be happy again?” Although you stumbled upon many coherent answers, you eventually chose the most viewed search result and started to read the article entitled “The root to happiness”. You related a lot to it and felt so relieved, thankful that you have finally found the answers you were looking for.
As a matter of fact, the article talked about very specific examples that weren’t even related to your case or to the situation you were going through. Yet you wanted to find a solution so bad that you assumed that this article would clarify your doubts. You started to apply what was written without even giving it a glimpse of thought. You could only see your expectations falling to the ground and breaking into millions of pieces. Pieces that are unrepairable. The happiness they promised you becomes void.
Sometimes, the Internet can make matters even worse. You wake up on a sunny day and feel a pain in your chest. Instead of going to the doctor’s and telling him about it, you decide to open a new tab on your web browser and start typing your symptoms without any consultation. The results are in: you are having a heart attack and you’ll be dead in a few hours. Whoever came up with the result advises you to tell your beloved how much you love them. In that moment, the psychosomatic effect starts playing games with your mind. The pain in your chest becomes more and more intense. You start to feel pain in both your arms and shoulders. You start to lose control over your breathing and get more and more anxious. While thinking that your day has come, nothing of what you are feeling represents actual symptoms; your mind is tricking your body into feeling these symptoms. Your anxiety is leading you down a toxic path of disastrous thoughts that might have caused you heart attack.
Here’s the thing, I can’t generalize and talk badly about all the sayings and quotes we read and hear over the course of our lives, because personally many of them have been my personal motivation and answers sometimes. However, I will not deny that others have led me to do terrible things to myself, to make mistakes I could have avoided if I weren’t so blinded.
From now on, I am warning you to pay more attention and be smarter. Your parents warned you about the different lies you’ll encounter in your life. However, they never alerted you about how you can become the one lying to yourself because of some unrealistic scenario elaborated in your mind. Read all the quotes you want and believe all the sayings you hear. Don’t forget to dive into the lecture of scientific articles while maintaining a critical mind towards the information shared. I beg you to keep your eyes wide open and your expectations on a reasonable level.