A question that people ask a fair bit is: “When do you tend to write your posts?”
Answer: after 10pm, once I’m tucked up cosily in bed, have an idea spring into my mind and can’t wait until morning to write it. I have just extracted myself from the warmth of my covers, wrapped myself in a fluffy blanket, and now find myself sat at my desk, typing away on my laptop, when I really want, and ought, to be asleep.
Social perfection is a term which I came up with about 10 minutes ago — are you proud of me? Defining it, however, is significantly more difficult than coming up with its name: my best chance at describing it to you is by saying that it’s the stereotypical social life of a teen. You know — the one engineered in Hollywood, to make the rest of us feel shit and worthless, friendless and alone. Social perfection — having friends who are always there to text; being ‘popular’ on social media; being in a position where you can nonchalantly lean back against a wall, do something cool with your limbs that doesn’t make you look like you’re in pain, and say: “Oh, yup, just going to hang out in town this afternoon”.
Can you tell I don’t lead a life of social perfection? … Me too.
Part of being a teenager is, by stereotype alone, living a life which revolves around social activity: picture a ‘typical’ teenager, and you are likely to picture them in a group of other scary, super-cool teenage friends. (That’s coming from a teenager myself … HELP ME!) There is so much in the news about teenagers being isolated, lonely because of their ‘screens’ (grown-up term for phones, laptops etc), and that they don’t have enough friends in ‘the real world’. This, in my view, merely fans the flames of pressure, forcing teenagers to feel like they have to lead a life of social perfection, or run the risk of being an outsider, not like everyone else.
But, honestly, so what? Social perfection is — or at least I hope is — hard to achieve. It’s difficult to live in a world where you can just “pop to town”, posting snaps on your social media with evidence-based assurance that each of your pics will receive at least 20 likes in 10 minutes. Social perfection, after all, is living a life revolving around other people, which in itself is unhealthy if left to develop.
And there are such people as introverts — we’re out here, guys, waiting for our moment… Seriously, though, some people just like having alone-time (NOT LIKE THAT), and the added pressure of social concepts makes them feel wrong, in some way, or like they’re not normal.
Social perfection is achieved by few, I think, and that’s OK. Everyone’s unique, and everyone knows how much social interaction works for them — and, more importantly, how much is too much. Normality is unrealistic, and adding a thriving social life to the checklist of normality just makes 80% of teenagers feel worse than we already do.
don’t lead a life of social perfection? Fuck it — you’re fabulous just the way you are, if you have 1 friend or 100 friends, if you’re reading this in a group right now or alone, subtly bopping along to a fovie soundtrack — YOU BOP!