Technology has made my life so much easier. When my boyfriend and I don’t feel like cooking, we just order food via an app. If I have an event somewhere I haven’t been before - I merely go on Google Street View to see where I can park. And if I don’t feel like driving, I just get an Uber.

I always have a bird’s-eye view of everyone else’s lives. I can see all their thoughts on Twitter, and the beautiful places they visit on Instagram. And when I want to die of boredom – there’s always Facebook. (I’m not sorry, Mark.)

But this has also been to my own detriment. I can’t tell you how many times over the past 5 years I have looked at people’s photos and thought: What am I doing wrong?

Read more: What my social media fast taught me

After graduating I had a study loan to pay off and I felt envious of all the Facebook posts I saw of people my age standing next to brand new cars. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t do the same.  

Of course there was a percentage that bought it on their own merit, but I soon learnt that the majority of these photos were sponsored by parents.

Years later - when I wanted to move from Paarl to Cape Town; I suddenly had an existential crisis about my career and if I was on the right path to afford the future I wanted. It didn’t help matters that I was reading articles about millennials quitting their jobs and touring the world.

These photos tell a story of a couple who are living their BEST lives. Just look at all the amazing places they visited!

But their Instagram was telling a one-sided story, and Chanel Cartell decided to take to their blog to set the record straight:

“It seems like we’re having the time of our lives. And don’t get me wrong – we are. It’s bloody amazing. But it’s not all ice-creams in the sun and pretty landscapes. Noooooo. So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shovelled, 60 metres of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished.”

I really struggled with life in 2016, but instead of speaking up – I was still writing articles, posting photos and tweeting like everything was fine. Here’s a photo of me in Mauritius, laughing and swimming.

This photo was posted on October 19, 2016. During that time I was battling crippling insomnia; sleeping 3 hours a night and feeling like shit 90% of my life.

I have been guilty of drawing comparisons between my life and other people’s lives, and I have been guilty of making people draw comparisons between their lives and mine. So in 2017 I vowed to not only share my concert, but also what’s going on backstage.

The truth is that you can’t compare your whole life to a tweet of 140 characters, a photo with minimal context and a Facebook post that is more boring than the back of a toilet spray bottle. (I’m still not sorry, Mark.)

Another side of this is to just be happy for other people, because part of not knowing the context to someone’s online life is not knowing what they had to go through in order to have what you’re seeing.

Give yourself and the life you have created the credit it deserves. Adulthood is expensive and difficult, and you should take pride in every victory – no matter how small it is.