The internet allows us to look at other people’s lives more than we ever could before.
People willingly divulge almost every minute detail of the existence, and the rest of us lap it up like it's cupcake flavoured water. However, while entertaining as this pastime of absorbing another person’s life has become, it's also become a bit destructive.
A Life of Whimsy
As Jezebel so poignantly noted earlier this year, there is this new movement of blogger who doesn’t just rant about their boyfriends or their work, but document their fabulous, craftsy lifestyle. From what they’re eating, to what they’re wearing, to what the inside of their home looks like, these girls are quirky, fabulous, and, quite frankly, rather intimidating.
Sadie Stein described these bloggers with “seemingly perfect lives” as living in homes “filled with an appealing blend of salvage and craft and re-upholstered chairs and melancholy found objects and vintage records, all of them full of magical secrets and totally devoid of clutter.” Which, to be honest, if you do a quick click-around the top lifestyle blogs, seems pretty accurate.
Some of these devastatingly adorable women don’t just go on dates, they go on date nights with coordinating outfits, impossibly cool hair, and it's all been captured on a hip Diana F+ camera. Sunday mornings aren’t filled with hangovers or the invoicing of clients - they’re spent frolicking in nearby flea market followed by a lunch of tea and cake - again, all captured on a filtered camera app to make it look that much more whimsical.
If you spend too much time reading about these women's lives which seem to be nothing but whimsy, vintage clothing, and hand-crafted magic, it can seriously start to fuck with your mind. As Stein points out, this is because these are real women in the real world and not just Martha Stewart and Nigella Lawson, and it gives you the feeling that “you, too, could (and should) be living a beautiful life”, if only you tried harder.
Obviously, if consuming all of these images of people living an awesome life is softly killing you, it’s because somewhere in the back of your mind you fear you’re not living a full life - or a least a life that looks good in Instagram.
But instead of going out and doing something you consider beautiful or enriching...you sit on the internet, retweeting and reposting artsy photos of other people’s existence from your messy bedroom. Go you.
Get Off Tumblr
The key to fixing all of this isn’t slamming the bloggers, hating them and subsequently yourself - it’s logging off of Tumblr, putting down your iPad, getting off your ass and DOING SOMETHING.
Gala Darling - whose own Tumblr photos will no doubt make you feel ever so slightly jealous - says that the obsession with photos of whimsical lifestyles makes her crazy because those pictures are “all aspiration, and no activity”. As she says, “Baby girl, posting more pretty photos isn’t going to make your life any more magical or wonderful, I promise.”
Maybe your life won’t look like Elsie’s or Gala’s or even like Maggie’s. Just because you’re not documenting how wonderful that organic smoothie you drank after doing yoga whilst writing poetry in your moleskine doesn’t take anything away from it - the fact is that you’re doing it.
The bottom line is to do stuff.
Do the things you wish you could do. If you want to the take a sepia-toned picture and blog the shit out of it, fine, but the important part is that you get your ass offline and do something in real life. (And, no, hoovering doesn't count.)
Image via thefuckingnameislove.tumblr.com