Alongside the rise of social media and its influencers, has come a glut of Instagram-inspired ‘motivational quotes’ appearing daily on our news feeds, urging us to “Be Positive” and “Be Grateful”, because remember: “We’re blessed”.
On the surface, these little quotes might appear encouraging and insightful. But look a little closer, and they have little sincerity or meaningful content. They’re basic catchphrases, masquerading as wisdom, promising more than they deliver and selling an uber-positive and sparkly way of life to an online generation. They’ve become the glossy language of social media – bite-sized, shallow and viewed out of context, through a flattering filter.
Like anything, they’re shared with good intentions, but not only are these patronising little morsels completely reductive, they can be quite harmful.
Why aren’t I breezy and confident enough to just “Fake It Til I Make It”? Why can’t I look in the mirror with purely “Positive Vibez”?? Why aren’t I able to just say “Thank U, Next…”??? Just like imagery – empty, glossy words can make people feel different, inadequate, guilty, lazy, unsuccessful.
We’re starting to understand the negative impact of sleek but shallow imagery on the nations mental health, so why not the rhetoric that goes with it?
Let’s start our own set of motivating memes and words of wisdom instead:
- “High five, you got out of bed this morning!”
- “Didn’t take a shower today? Don’t worry, that’s what deodorant is for.”
- “Have a glass of wine and you’re 87% less likely to sell the kids on eBay.”
Now these are the words I live by.