Is everyone supposed to be miserable now?
A few weeks ago, Daisey Beaton tweeted, “My husband and i wake up every morning and bring our coffee out to our garden and sit and talk for hours. every morning. it never gets old & we never run out of things to talk to. love him so much.”
The backlash and pile on was astounding.
Daisy, a twenty-something, was accused of being elitist, rich, and entitled. But most (un)shocking were tweets like these:
For some reason, it’s become perfectly acceptable to slam others’ happiness on social media and center our personal traumas as being more important than anyone else’s. Daisy’s experience is just one example. For the record, she is neither wealthy nor entitled. She’s a young woman with a flexible work schedule who is enjoying the early days of marriage. But no one considered that. They focused on her easy morning and her apparently offensive happiness.
Comparison, the quote goes, is the thief of joy
Sometimes, it feels we’ve reached a point where if you aren’t complaining about how difficult your life is, you’re bragging. At the same time, if you complain too much, you are leaning into tragedy porn.
Here’s the thing: someone is always going to have it harder than you, and someone is always going to have it easier than you.
I think this mentality is backlash to influencer culture. We’ve grown tired of being told unauthentic, perfect lives are aspirational. We’re skeptical of endless pictures of immaculately dressed children having lavish picnics and travel photos on pristine, deserted beaches. We know that those shots on private plans are often taken in an LA warehouse and not 30,000 miles in the air. Lifestyle gurus who advise us how to achieve our best lives and preach marriage advice keep announcing their divorces.