The pressure to be cool

I suppose that, as a blogger, I'm expected to post about most of the things that go on in my life. What I eat, where I go, the free stuff I get - it's SOP to share them here or on my social media accounts. I admit that starting out all those years ago, I was like that. I wanted to show off. I feel pressured to show off my wonderful life.

The pressure might be imaginary, but I feel that it permeates my life. A recent example is coming back from Japan, with barely any shopping in tow. Yeah, I didn't shop much. I took quite a bit of money with me plus my credit cards, but I didn't buy a lot of things at all. Why? I told my mother it's because I didn't go to Shibuya, where all the fab shopping is. The real reason, though, is that I just didn't feel like it.

I wanted to BE in Tokyo, to lie down in a park soaking in the autumn sun. I wanted to sit in a bench in Akihabara to watch people passing by. I wanted to go to a temple and pay homage. I wanted to experience things without having the compulsion to snap a picture or buy a souvenir.

All this past week I've been giving myself a hard time about the fact that I didn't take tons of pictures or buy lots of things. I keep telling myself, now what do I blog about? There's nothing they'd like to read! This kept looping in my head. It was really stressing me out. 

Then realization dawned: I don't have to show off. I'll write about the things I care about, because I care about them and not because I want to keep up with the Jones's.

Social media has put an invisible yet powerful pressure on all of us to be someone we're not, or worse, to highlight all the things that we already are but shouldn't be. I'm guilty of succumbing to that pressure every so often - I can't help it. It's the nature of my job. But I'm not going to give myself grief the next time I don't give in to the temptation of looking cooler than I actually am.

Maybe my blog will suffer in the long run (if it hasn't already). However, I think I'd rather enjoy my life the way I want to, and not in a way that's only "blog-worthy".