Life isn't always as lovely and simple as the endless stream of Facebook status updates bedazzling our news feeds might suggest (side note: in my twenty-something years, I've learned that the majority of social media’s most incessant positive posters are some of the most panic-stricken, jangly people in real life. I digress).
Sometimes it’s just not a #beautiful, #perfect day. Some of us aren't holding court in our #dreamjobs. Most of us haven't found our #soulmate and instead are attempting to heal our bruised hearts whilst living the #singlelife. It seems as if we only ever virtually express the things that make us happy, and on those difficult days, when we feel confused, broken or fragile — we retreat deep within ourselves.
Internet culture has a way of shaming us for our inherently human feelings of being lost or off-kilter, so we silence our discontent. Swallowing our troubled thoughts only leaves us feeling painfully alone. This crushing, self-inflicted isolation is what makes it seem as if no one in the world could possibly understand what it is we’re going through (when in fact, chances are that the smiling brunette in the silver cocktail dress two barstools to the right is dealing with the exact same thing and is dying for a friend to relate to. In fact, she’s probably me).
I decided it was time I, Factory Girl, put my leather-boot-clad foot down against this growing epidemic of emotional suppression! I took to the turbulent trio of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and opened up a forum urging those seeking advice to open up. For about four days, I collected anonymous questions running the gamut from career inquisitions to cheating boyfriends to wedding attire.
Lucky for you, darling, my advice-savvy older (and wiser) brother, Blake Barrie, happened to be in town from Los Angeles and was willing and eager to offer his services. Whenever I find myself in the throes of a meltdown and am wrestling with issues (out-of-control fear and paralyzing self-doubt tend to torture this anxious soul on the reg), the first person I turn to is Big Brother Blake.
He provides me with that kick-ass older-brother perspective — the perfect mix of active problem-solving with a mega dose of reality and just the right amount of pep-talk. It's a fantastic point of view that I'm #blessed (couldn’t help myself) to have, and feel oh-so-compelled to share with all of you.
Blake’s no therapist, but he’s the best listener I’ve ever met, totally free of judgment and blissfully comfortable discussing any given subject matter. Also, in typical Barrie fashion, he’s made a TON of mistakes in his short lifetime, thus learning a thing or two the hard way. Trust me, girl, it’s those of us with the most sordid of pasts that will provide you with the wisest of advice. Nothing quite like hands-on experience.
The main reason I wanted to do an advice vlog was to create a dialogue about unresolved issues or problems you might be facing (big or small). Again, we're not therapists or counselors; we just want to talk, really. We want you to know that you're not alone. We live in such an isolating age where the majority of our interactions take place within the static glow of a screen. We're constantly bombarded by our Facebook “friends” list, forever proclaiming how perfect their worlds are. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one feeling stuck in the mud.
But remember, a lot of people use social media as a tool to portray the lives they wish they had. Virtual reality is not reality. The most polished, seemingly together social-media sirens are worried about their boyfriends cheating on them, too. The girl with 1,000+ stunningly beautiful #nomakeup selfies is riddled with anxiety about her future, just like you and I. Hopefully, like me, you'll take comfort in that.
The Silver Factory Girl
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