Don’t Let Social Media Ruin Your 20’s

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I logged onto my Facebook the other day and saw two couples that were close to my age who were getting engaged. Wow. Good for you guys. I feel extremely single.

Then, I logged onto my Instagram today and saw someone is having a baby girl. That’s adorable, girls are great.

After that, I logged onto my Twitter and saw someone was traveling abroad in Italy for the summer. Can I be you?

Here I am going into my senior year of college and I feel like I’m doing my 20’s all wrong; but, am I really? Or is it because of social media that I feel this way?

Social media has become a prime tool to show other people what you’re doing with your life; that’s what it’s there for after all. It shows people what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, or how good you look with that new haircut.

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I’ve seen multiple people getting engaged, announcing pregnancies, and studying abroad. Those seem to be the top three life changes that usually pop up. These events are happening to people in the age range of 19-24 years old.

Personally, my Facebook consists of a lot of friends, mainly people I went to high school with, from my hometown of Lebanon, PA. In my hometown, I saw a lot of people either announcing pregnancies or getting engaged.

There were also a lot of recent pregnancies that were popping up on my newsfeed. A lot of people seemed happy for these girls, but you also have people that think this isn’t the right time to be having kids. One person even mentioned how birth control was free and got a substantial amount of likes on it.

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I’ll admit it; I have felt pressured by social media and have felt that I’m doing my 20’s all wrong. Sometimes I think I’m going down the wrong path. I feel like I should be settling down and finding that special someone because it seems like everyone else is. My best friend is going abroad to Denmark for the fall and my other best friend lives in San Diego. There are a handful of girls I went to high school with that are having kids.

Then there’s me.

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I’m going into my senior year of college at Bloomsburg University. I cannot wait to graduate and continue onto graduate school, but I’m also extremely nervous to get out into the real world and live like some people my age are living.

I couldn’t handle a family of my own at 21. I definitely couldn’t be married at this age. I also don’t know how I could manage getting through an airport by myself without thinking I’m going to be taken (thanks Liam Neeson for forever freaking me out). I still can’t decide on what shoes to wear out at night, let alone change diapers or plan a wedding.

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Social media has made us believe we need to start settling down in our 20’s or that we aren’t accomplishing enough. When we see all these posts about so-and-so having their dream wedding in the fall and we’re like, “Well I have my anatomy 2 test that day on the digestive system, so FML.” We also see our friends having the time of their lives studying abroad in Budapest, France and even Zimbabwe. Yes, Zimbabwe. We start questioning what we’re doing with our lives.

Should I be helping third world countries? Should I start looking for someone to marry? Should I start saving for children?

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When I asked a group of girls attending various colleges, the majority of them agreed that they would never want a child at this age (18-22) and they didn’t think they could handle it. They did agree, however, that some posts make them feel single and want a relationship.

I have heard and seen a countless number of girls wishing they were “that couple” because they are “so cute” and “so in love.” Or, my personal favorite, “relationship goals” just because of one picture on Instagram.

We’ve started using social media for all the wrong reasons which has led us to think we are living our lives completely wrong, especially during our complicated 20’s.

I’ve personally seen girls who post about being pregnant and receive over 400 likes on their Facebook walls. I’ve also seen girls post about getting into graduate school and only getting 40 likes. Maybe there is something wrong with this, maybe there isn’t.

Either way, what I’ve realized is that we need to stop comparing our lives to others.

We need to stop judging each other and just be happy for one another. So what if you have 100 likes on your post? It’s a like. It means absolutely nothing.

Social media may be making us feel that our lives are very dull, but in reality we are truly in one of the greatest times of our lives. Your 20’s are a great time to explore and try new things. We all choose different paths. We choose to have kids, we choose to get engaged and we choose whether or not we want to fly on airplanes alone to third world countries. Don’t judge people because of what they’ve chosen to do with their lives.

I’m not studying abroad, getting engaged anytime soon, and I never want kids. But, I am perfectly content with my life right now. I just turned 21. I’m single. I may be working two jobs, getting no sleep at night because of OITNB, and occasionally be having too much wine, but I choose to do that.

To the young moms out there, props to you. To all of the happily young, engaged couples, I wish you all the best. To those of you traveling around the world, bring me back something good to eat, please! Don’t let social media affect the way you live. Enjoy your 20’s, people.

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