You’re not the main character

Morgan Dowler | Cartoonist

By The Editorial Board

If you’ve had any type of social media in the last two years, you may be familiar with a new trend that’s emerged known as “romanticizing your life.”

Creators have encouraged people to have this self-centered perspective of their life and make even the little things really special. This idea stemmed following the lifting of most mask restrictions across the country and people getting back into a routine. While this idea of writing your own narrative is innocent in nature, it can get annoying and disrespectful to others really easily.

Balancing your personal and social life alongside others is a tough act on its own. You should absolutely be able to put yourself first, but let’s make sure we aren’t being ignorant about it. Sharing your personal life to romanticize it should be done for you, not to show people how you are living your life as an unrealistic expectation.

Instagram stories and reels, Snapchat and Facebook are all great platforms to share everything on, but they also create this unrealistic expectation of how we should be living. Social media is merely a highlight reel of people’s favorite and happiest moments. Rarely are the vulnerable aspects of life shared on social media on public display. No one wants to come off as undesirable because they “don’t have it all together,” but that’s part of the process. So when we see these idealistic lifestyles being depicted online, it really makes us question how we are currently living our own life.

In all reality, though, no one is paying as much attention to you as you might think. Do things by yourself. Go out to eat alone, study alone and practice doing things you want to. Don’t feel guilty or anxious about making conscious decisions for your own betterment, and in all seriousness, no one will think of you as “lonely” or friendless when doing things by yourself. There are ways to embrace self-love and care about yourself without coming across as selfish or bragging. While you should cater to your own personal needs, you should still consider others’ as well.

We would all like to think that we are the main characters of our stories — and sometimes we are, but other times we aren’t. This isn’t meant to be a slap in the face or a bruise to your ego; it’s just something we should normalize. Stop putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to have this perfect life where you are in the spotlight. Yes, go out and live your life and share it with those you care about, but don’t make it a personality trait. The best parts of life tend to happen with those who you love, and sometimes those “side characters” of your life turn out to be the most important part of your story.