Society today has a way of making us feel like we are never going to be good enough, that no one truly cares for one another, and that we only use each other for our own benefits. But why have we let that become the standard? Why do we allow each other to act like we are best friends with someone, and then turn around and talk about them behind their backs?
Being a teenager in today’s time is hard enough as it is. Constantly stressed out because of classes, drama in friend groups, and trying to live up to unrealistic standards. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety, and 75 percent of those people experience an anxious episode by the age of 22. 75 percent, that is ¾ of young adults who experience anxiety, just let that sink in.
This is a staggering statistic; mental health is a major problem that people tend to act like it doesn’t exist. I have been a very anxious person my whole life and living in a time where social media and the amount of likes you get are in control, anxiety tends to skyrocket.
On average, I would say I spend at least 5 hours a day on my phone. Whether that is mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, sending snapchats, checking twitter, texting, or just listening to music. We have become addicted to our phones, and face to face interactions are hard to come by. We would rather snapchat someone than have an actual conversation with them. When all we do is live through highlight reels, it is easy to feel invisible.
This past week, I saw the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. I had been wanting to see this show for years, and I was finally able to. Dear Evan Hansen, is a heavy show, focused on the idea of feeling alone and trying to navigate life when anxiety has control over you, and it seems like you have no one around to help you. I found myself relating to a lot of the content and crying a lot throughout the show. This musical is a theatrical representation of feeling like you don’t have a place, and how one person can make you feel that you are not alone. One person can in fact make a difference.
Mental health is a huge problem in the United States today. People experience FOMO (fear of missing out) daily thanks to Instagram, snapchat, and every social media network in between. Sometimes you feel alone and invisible, and it makes you feel so small. But you are not alone, just like Evan sings in “You Will Be Found”. There are always people in your life who care for you, who want you to live the best life you can and be happy. We need to learn to take a step back from all of the likes and tweets and step into a world where we sit down with one another, check in on each other, and show each other kindness and love. Because, life is hard enough as it is, and no one should feel invisible.
So, to the girl who feels invisible, know that you aren’t. Know that at the very least, I am here for you, cheering you on through every tiny victory you have. Although it may seem like you are alone and all that you can hear in your head is your anxiety and depression telling you that you aren’t enough, you are. If you are feeling this way, the person next to you probably is too. So, take out your airpods and talk to them, show them that they are loved even if it is in the smallest way.