Ever since hashtags became popular, the internet has given us so many new terms and phrases that have become part of our everyday language. Seriously, if someone from the past listened to a simple conversation nowadays, they’d probably think we were speaking a different language. Okay, maybe I'm slightly exagerating. But we can't deny that social media has had a huge impact in our everyday life. We now have linguistic gems to put Shakespeare to shame. We have great acronyms like FTW, ASAP, or TBT that are good for staying under the character count and to economize, but these are also used in spoken language because, apparently, there’s no time to pronounce four words. We have also random words everybody uses that have become code for other things, and among these beauties, we have the most problematic of all: the so-called “goals”. Today everything is about goals: parenting goals, life goals, food goals, and the worst one, relationship goals.
You have no idea how ridiculous I find those posts on FB or Instagram with that stupid hashtag. There are two options. Either the phrase is used to brag about a relationship or to show their expectations towards a relationship. Both cases are kind of sad, if you think about it, while shedding some light on the unhappiness and dissatisfaction felt by the people that post them. As you know, our behavior on social media is a clear reflection of our lives. However, this reflection is more than just a platform where we share the highlights of our existence with other people: it also shows all those things we lack. It’s a way of portraying what we wish our lives were like, but it’s never a faithful mirror of our reality.
Now, let's go back to the two cases I mentioned before and analyze them a little bit more. The first one is exactly what I was just talking about. Basically, it's bragging to the digital world about how happy and perfect your relationship is. But in 99.9% of the cases, that relationship isn’t as great as it might appear. Think about it, if their relationship and life were as perfect as they claim, what would be the need to constantly show it off through these platforms? I get it, you can argue it’s just a way to share their happiness with the world. But most of the time that insistence is just a way for people to deceive themselves and to hide how crappy their relationship actually is.
The second case is the one where people share pictures of other couples (that most of the times they don’t really know) and openly wish their current relationship or a future one was exactly like that. First things first, it’s kind of lame because most of the time these photos aren’t images of real couples, but rather they’re a montage most likely planned to set impossible standards and a fantasy lifestyle. The problem is that all those people looking for a relationship like that are really fooling themselves with all sorts of fantasies and unrealistic goals that stop them from enjoying what they already have.
That’s why I think that the idea of “goals” is so harmful. Instead of being happy with what we have, we just trick our minds into believing that our own achievements are worthless or nothing compared to what we see on social media. Or worse, we get used to showing a life we don’t really have to the point that we stop experiencing and enjoying our real life.
So, next time you see a picture that makes you long for what it’s portraying, ask yourself if the photo is real first, and then, if this is really a goal for you or just a standard concept someone is trying to sell to people. It’s fine to set goals and to challenge ourselves in life, but these goals and challenges must be in accordance with your taste and personality.
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