I have something that I want to talk about. And that thing is honesty.

We live in a society that encourages us to put up a front, to compete with everyone else’s highlight reels. I was a victim of this mentality for a while. Back then, I wasn’t fully comfortable with myself and my perceived inadequacies, and, in that space, sharing them with the world felt really scary.

In the past I’ve had a hard time even admitting to friends or family that I wasn’t okay. I’m someone who likes to see herself as everyone else’s rock. Growing up with a sick parent, I was told I needed to be.

Fastforward to the 2000’s when, “LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE,” and “ANYTHING TO GET THE SHOT,” became the compulsory notions for those of us using Facebook, and then Instagram and Snapchat. More ammo not to feel my feelings fully. Not to be totally honest.

It’s clear that social media polarizes. Suicide is a huge topic in the media right now, and I did some googling and it turns out suicide rates have been rising very steadily since 1996, the first year home internet became a legit thing. We are connected to the world and to technology, yet disconnected from each other and ourselves. Go figure.

So how can we stop the isolation and create more connection? For one, we need to stop buying into the idea that, for some people, life is just perfect all the damn time. Here’s the deal: studies show that being exposed to only the UPSIDE of other people’s lives makes the downside of our own seem less acceptable. This is where shame, fear and aloneness sets in. As well as suicidal thoughts.

PRACTICAL FIXES: I’ve started following people who show the full picture. I am posting only what I think is dope rather than unconsciously creating content to influence other people’s opinions of me. I started a practice with myself this month, an honesty practice. The first thing I do every day is I get honest with myself. How do I really feel right now? What is present today in my heart?

Great art is work that strikes a chord within people. It makes them feel something. It lets them know they’re not alone. That’s what I want to give, and it’s what I also want to receive on social media. This exchange can never happen if I’m not being completely honest.

#honestyfirst #radicalhonesty #deathtohighlightreels #suicide #socialmedia