Sybil Shaibu column: How do you handle it?


2020 will most definitely go down as one of the most extraordinary years in history, for obvious reasons. As nature would have it the year went by very fast and so soon a New Year is here. And as usual people are posting all sorts of pressure inducing posts all around on social media. How do you handle it?

In as much as these posts might not have been made with any form of malice intended, many a time you realize that it might end up doing more harm than good. Personally over the time I have come to just ignore such posts or take myself out of any social media platform that puts unnecessary pressure on me.

Social media has indeed amplified a lot of agenda’s and despite the fact that most of the time it’s all make believe, some people still fall prey to this. Each one of us live our lives the best way possible, we make decisions that bring us gains other times we encounter some loses as well. I’m sure at this point we have all come to the realization that in life “you loose some you win some”, so why allow such posts get to you?

I was actually surprised to see these posts as I thought all and sundry would appreciate the kind of year 2020 was. And for once I expected that we would be spared this usual ordeal by posts that elicit such unhealthy emotions.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for setting goals and achieving them as well as making each day of our lives count. There is so much joy in being able to write goals and work towards achieving them, but this doesn’t mean you should go about on social media rubbing it in people’s faces literally. We live in times where some people make it seem as though, if “it isn’t on social media you aren’t living it”.

If there’s anything that this pandemic has taught us, it’s how vulnerable we are as people. Regardless of all that some people had planned for 2020, no one anticipated that we’ll spend so much time home and others in quarantine or self isolation. Life is just so unpredictable that no one should in any way be deprived of enjoying themselves the way they choose to.

Social media has been very helpful in so many ways but for me it’s beginning to look like the downside of it bears such dire consequences. Many lives have been lost, jobs lost, livelihoods brought to an abrupt halt and all some care to think about it what people were able to achieve last year and how to smash the year 2021.

The question however is that, who do you owe any form of accountability? If this year ends and you haven’t been able to achieve anything on the list of goals you set out to achieve this year, who’s going to hold a gun to your head? Exactly! You are accountable to yourself and yourself only, as such ignore all the seeming pressure which seek to make you feel as though they have it all figured it out but you don’t.

Don’t allow any “needless pressure” posts stress you out. What have you accomplished and not accomplished is not anyone’s business but yours. And if anyone goes as far as asking you directly, have them know you’ve survived an incredibly difficult year (2020) in human history in the last one hundred years. You are still here and that my friend is an amazing accomplishment.

What are you going to accomplish in this New Year? You are going to take it a day at a time, live to survive and enjoy doing that, making room for celebrating each day as it comes. And while we may all be eager to make up for the loses of 2020, I would encourage each one of us to try and keep our expectations to a fairly realistic level as possible. Let’s learn from all that happened in 2020 and learn to take each day as it comes, slow and steady wins the race. And that my friend is the end of that matter.

Happy New Year

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