There’s a strange thing about life that I feel is universally felt, but ironically, hardly ever talked about. It’s a thing all of us can relate to, but we rarely explicitly acknowledge it to others. You know what that is?
Life is boring for the average person.
It’s not even a hard pill to swallow, because we know it’s true.
Granted, this is something that people do indeed talk about a lot, but I would like to add is that most people don’t want to pass the perception that their life is boring.
This is usually done in a variety of ways. Let me give you a few examples.
The first and most obvious one that comes to mind is through social media. This is most often done by way of posting your vacation on Facebook, or adding that photo of you that you took with some celeb. Even sites like LinkedIn have increasingly become a platform where you only flex how awesome your job is to others.
Now, a more subtle way people use social media to not expose how boring their life is (and I would say I fall into this category) by just simply not posting.
If you don’t have regular posts, then people won’t notice when you’re gone. In essence, you can’t find something that was never supposed to be there.
Ironically enough, when something substantial does come up every few months, maybe even years, that person does, in turn, make a post about it. For example, I have a decent amount of friends whose only post in the past 5 years is their vacation to Australia.
So now, within the 4 posts you have on your timeline, at least they’re interesting.
“This one time”:
Okay, so I know it’s a bit cliche, but we’ve all encountered that person or persons who all they do is share their “wild” stories they’ve had, and not only that, typically only insert their experiences following yours or another’s story. Essentially, they try to “1-up” you.
In the moment, you might think “What an ass”. But what are they really trying to do?
And typically, what the person doing said interruptions and/or “1-up-ing” is showing how they’re the most interesting person in the room or conversation.
More plainly speaking, they’re trying to project social validation. Of course, you can go into the specifics of why they’re doing what they’re doing i.e. insecurity, low self-esteem, narcissism…. but at the end of the day, it’s a thin cover over a person’s most likely boring and unexciting life.
They don’t want to expose how their life is probably not much more interesting than yours, realistically. So they lie and exaggerate so you might look at them and become jealous of their life when in reality, it’s probably just the opposite that’s going on.
This is a term I read a long time ago. I first read about it in a dating book when I was in high school (long story). If you’ve not heard the term it’s essentially slang for when a person uses external items to project wealth, status, and ultimately, once again, social validation.
And you have to ask yourself, why are all the most “interesting” people in movies, books, and stories wealthy? Why is the “mysterious wealthy man” more interesting than the “mysterious poor man”?
I probably can’t give you an objective answer, but I can give you an opinionated one. And, in my opinion, wealth usually projects a few different qualities, or at least a higher probability that those qualities exist.
First, you have to think, what does one have to possess to become wealthy?
Typically, you’ll have to be intelligent to have been able to amount a large net worth. Though, not always true, and there are plenty of counter-examples.
What else though? Well, wealthy people usually are associated with having a lot of connections, namely, high profile connections, which equates to status. Wealthy people usually have a high status.
Other things include the abundance of opportunity (Matthew 13:12), and, although subjective, I would say it’s just more fun to have money than to not have money.
So, while you might not actually have money, you can do things that give the perception you have money. Gucci bag? Check. Rolex Watch? Check. Louis Vutton belt? Check. Fake till you make it right?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work like that for reasons we don’t have to get in to. The point i’m trying to make is that peacocking is yet another thing people do to give off the illusion that their life is more exciting than it actually might be.
I guess, at the end of the day, why do so many of us try so hard to show the world that we’re not boring? Why do we, when we know that most people’s attempt at social validation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram isn’t reality, still act as if it’s true? What I mean is, why do we compare our lives to the highlight reel of others?
That’s not really a question I can answer for anyone else but myself, but what I can do is at least share the answer I have.
And ultimately, it goes back to main theme of this entire post:
Life is boring for the average person.
No one but myself knows the monotony of my own life; the boring routine I’ve done for years with little change. No one knows how I can’t remember a single thing about what I did on Tuesday of last week because how mind-numbingly boring it was. The only reason I can faintly remember is not because I actually remember, but it’s because it’s so similar to every other day I’ve experienced.
In the end, it almost seems like a sad thing that life is so boring, but I want to end this on a positive note.
Just because life is boring, that does not mean you have to make it boring. What I mean is, life is typically boring because we do, in fact, make it boring. We don’t go out enough, we don’t explore enough, we don’t take opportunities because of fear of it disrupting our comfortable life we so much grow to despise.
It’s a strange irony. We dislike our lives because of its boringness, but refuse to change it because of the discomfort in unpredictability.
I guess, all I can say is life is boring, yes, but there are many, many ways it doesn’t have to be.
You just have to actually do them.
Thanks for reading,