In 2007, a movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, The Bucket List, was released to the masses. In it, two old men break out of their cancer ward and take a road trip to live the lives that they’ve dreamed of. Legend is, the movie’s release popularized the phrase so much that a bucket list frenzy took over the early 2000s. Back then, everyone between the ages of 15 and 75 had a list of things to do before they died taped to their bathroom mirror.
In fact, some totally excited person even created a website called Bucketlist.org, which was dedicated to sharing the bucket lists of its members, and is still up and running today; everything from visiting the Grand Canyon to riding on the back of a motorcycle, volunteering abroad to learning how to skateboard, and drinking Boston coffee to collecting foreign souvenirs was posted and crossed off the lists of its subscribers.
Since then, however, “bucket lists” have officially kicked rocks.
Thanks, social media.
Nowadays, we look to social media for inspiration on how to live–which is a minor understatement. People now follow the lives that they’ve always dreamed of living, instead of actually having to live them. Not only does this save time, money and cojones, but it also can be done from the comfort of one’s own bed.
Of course, “YOLO” didn’t help at all.
But if you’re part of the 1 billion social media users around the world, chances are that you participate in this mass following, which can either be positive or negative.
The positive side is users being inspired by the people that they choose to follow, possibly reaching out to them over the internet and gaining new job or travel opportunities as a result.
On the other hand, over-exposure to people who live their dreams can cause many users to feel as though their own dreams are unreachable. Surprisingly, a high usage of social media is now linked to depression. While some researchers say that depression leaves a void that is often filled by social media, many more say that over-exposure to social media creates depression within users.
(No, really though, imagine being home on a Saturday night, going on Facebook and seeing that your cousin got engaged, your best friend is still in Italy, eating ice cream and not getting fat, and that you’re ex just got a new car… with a new s/o inside of it. Pretty depressing stuff).
So what’s the solution?
To make your profile the best profile. Obviously.
And by that, I mean to live out your bucket list (while taking well-angled pictures of yourself). It’s not enough for you to create a list of 100 things to do over the course of your life time and only get ten of them done when you’ve pulled out your oxygen tubes and jumped into a convertible at the age of 80. It’s not enough for you to stay at home all day and live vicariously through sexy_rock_climber123 as they zip line from peak to peak. (And to be fair, it’s also not enough for you to post pictures of your morning smoothies and feel accomplished for the rest of the day).
Bucket lists are only the highs of life. Too many or not enough isn’t good either way (think The Three Little Bears here). And to be fair, the only way to feel a high is to remember a low–and enjoy the time in between.