If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know I’m a big fan of inspirational quotes. If you somehow got a glance at my iPhone camera roll, you’d find out that I’m actually obsessive. Maybe it’s the English major in me– or maybe it’s just the sap– but I love the feeling of stumbling over a perfect, succinct quote that seems like it was written just for my current mood, just for that exact moment. Bombard me with the sarcastic, “Wow, v deep” and “~inspirational~” comments all ya want, I’m gonna keep posting them.
The other day, someone on social media proudly posted a pseudo-science study that “proved” people who post inspirational quotes are, on average, less intelligent than people who don’t. “A-ha! Those morons!” Although I was sad to find out that my I.Q. was lower than what I originally thought, I mustered up the strength to go on with my day.
But for some reason, it stayed on my mind. In fact, I started noticing a trend of people hating on social media displays of positivity and happiness in any form.
“If I see one more engagement on social media, I’m going to delete my account.”
“We all have those obnoxious Facebook friends who continuously post selfies.”
“Why do people insist on posting non-stop pictures of their [boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé/child]?”
“Why do people do ____? It’s SO annoying/wrong/stupid.”
I’m guilty of it. When I wasn’t in a good place a couple of years ago, I hated seeing happiness on social media, and I’d bash things often. I thought my negativity was just me “keeping it real.” I’ve actually gone back and attempted to clean up some of my most Debbie Downer-esque posts, because they bum me out even now.
There are places where you can’t avoid negativity and general garbage, e.g. the nightly news and the DMV. Why on earth would you want to go online just to see more of it?
Don’t get me wrong, if you had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day à la Alexander, talk it out, baby. Shit happens, and I love when people are transparent and authentic. No one has the perfect life, and I adore people who embrace their flaws and their messes. It’s the aggression toward another’s happiness that really irks me.
For me, positivity breeds positivity. I’ve thrown many pity parties in my day, and I’m a certified expert in all things “woe is me.” My friends can vouch that I don’t put a filter on my struggles, and hello– I just told everyone I know (and lots of people I don’t) that I’m a sloppy alcoholic via The Washington Post. But there’s a huge difference in acknowledging something and dwelling on something. There’s a huge difference in “keeping it real” and being a negative person for no reason.
So here’s to everyone posting their cheesy John Green quotes and their 287th engagement picture and a bathroom mirror selfie just ’cause they feel sexy. Ignore the cynics and the keyboard warriors, and stop apologizing for the “double posts” or flooding our feeds and our timelines. Celebrate your little victories, your moments of happiness, and your confident days, and I’ll celebrate with you!