Chances are, you’ve read a Thought Catalog article or two or thousand about how you need to smile through adversity. Or a study somewhere that outlined the positive effects of maintaining a sunny disposition, which is to mask whatever numbing pain you’re feeling.
Or, God help you, you’ve taken the advice of some linkbait garbage from Upworthy that promised to “restore your faith in humanity.”
And for some reason, you’ve decided that you would take your quest for happiness to Instagram or Twitter or Facebook. Your ratio of selfies to actual pictures becomes 10:1 as you find every reason to force a smiling photo: you’re going to work, you’re bored at work, you’re leaving work, you’re getting ready to go out, you’re out, you’re sitting at home bored, etc.
A lot of the time, these pictures are accompanied by a caption that tells the poor souls who see it that you’re finally ready to make a change in your life, or that this is the first time in a while that everything just feels so right. No it doesn’t. And we all know you’re not going to make a change in your life. You’re going to keep doing the same things you’ve always done, perpetuating this cycle of bombarding the world with your smiling face, painfully stretched beyond its limits.
You’re desperate to prove to someone, anyone, that you’re “smiling through it all.” You might have even joined in the fun of that “#100happydays” movement, which lasted for at least a few of those anticipated 100 days, which is pretty good!
No one is this happy all the time. Or at least no one pretends to be. None of this works unless you’re the Joker.
But the only thing worse than constantly declaring your fake happiness or readiness to take on the world’s challenges (which will crush you more than anything else) is peppering your social media profiles with how much life is bringing you down. That’s at least somewhat understandable though, because the world is an unforgiving hellscape of pain, and updates reflecting that are a far more accurate representation of how it’s all supposed to be.
Just stop smiling so much. It’s unsettling.