Here's where you can put your self-help advice...
A new day, a new stream of social media dribble about how I can be a better person.
Shared Instagram pics of woven baskets full of cabbage fresh from the market with hashtags like #alwaysorganic and #greenisgood. Blog articles on how to be more successful, increase your salary and drive your career. Selfies at the gym in active wear with slogans like ‘Never stop chasing your goals’.
Here’s my motivational contribution for the day: Fuck you.
To quote from a b-grade 90s rock star “I don’t wanna be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately.”
And what I’ve been trying to be lately is not in line for the dole.
Surely I can’t be the only one who sees all these unbidden self-help posts and thinks ‘look buddy, while I appreciate your enthusiasm for a more organic, financially successful and shallow life, the fact that it’s 10am and I’m still sober is a big enough achievement for me today.
In fact, I got through the whole day without punching anyone in the face, but do you see me posting about it? No.
I only wore one item of clothing inside out this week, and it was my underwear, so no one even noticed. Did I make a motivational poster of myself and share it on social media? No.
I bitched and whinged my way through four hour-long gym sessions this week (I was supposed to do five) and do you know how many gym mirror selfies I took? None. Because no one gives a fuck what I do at the gym and Facebook is clogged up with enough spam as it is. The fact that I also happen to look like the human embodiment of a rotten tomato when I exercise is beside the point. (All red-faced, frizzy hair and covered in a thin film of shiny sweat.)
Do you know what I would like to see more of online? People failing at life.
Perhaps revelling in other people’s sadness makes me some sort of sadist, but I honestly think we’d all be a lot happier if we were balancing out our best moments on social media with our worst. Instead of Janet only posting cake-face selfies snapped in the perfect light and put through a filter, she also put a few up during an impromptu thunderstorm when her make-up is dripping down her face like that scary-ass clown from the movie IT.
How much better would you feel if, with every one of Colin’s weekly ‘How to climb the corporate ladder’ spiels, he posted some sort of embarrassing confession, like the fact that he spent a third of his wage that week on an online penis enlarger that his mum found beside his bed.
Or if Brie, alongside her daily spinach and celery snap, posted a photo of what she was actually eating. A Big Mac, sauce dripping down her shirt, next to a half eaten family-size pack of maltesers and a large coke. It’s alright Brie, we’ve all been there. (We’re just not giant hypocrites about the whole thing).
To make my point, I’ve had just about enough of people telling me what I should or shouldn’t be doing. How I’m not skinny enough, strong enough, successful enough. But if I just follow some quick advice I saw on social media, I can turn it all around and be an awesome person who goes on to help others by posting my uninformed and unqualified advice on social media.
To all the women (and men, I guess) out there who feel what I’m saying, I’m going to tell you what Mr Darcy told Bridges Jones - I like you, just the way you are.