In the days leading up to Youth Day, TV producer and personality, Jo Lurie took to Instagram to challenge her peers to use the same platform they use to keep up appearances (social media) to let people in and be honest about the realities of their lives using the hashtag #TheGramSham.
This is not a meaningless challenge. This is not an attention seeking exercise to go viral. This is a very real cry for help from a concerned human and someone who works in your industry and knows how hard you’ve all worked to get where you are. Please let it be heard. The 16th of June is Youth Day and our youth are in serious danger. They look to this very platform as a model of what their lives can be. They look to you, as their role models, to see what their dreams look like. But they forget that you are showing them a single frame, a snapshot, a pose, a scene, an edit of what your life looks like. They believe what they see on the ‘Gram is your life, but that’s not your whole truth. No one lives their Instagram life all day, every day, but they think you do. They’ve bought into a dream. They have lost touch with how hard you have worked, how much you have struggled, how unglamorous your hustle has been. They don’t know that your life isn’t always pretty. The result of that? They feel like they’re failing because their lives are messy, real, raw, ugly, sometimes downright disappointing, and often don’t fit into the neat lines of a photo frame. They feel hopeless and helpless. They feel like they aren’t enough. Depression and suicide are on the rise. Please can I ask you a solid? On the 16th of June, please give the youth of South Africa a gift. Post something really real on Instagram. Whether it’s a selfie, a story, a picture of you coming up in your industry, anything you choose to share. You’ll know your truth. Show us what’s real to you. Use the hashtag #TheGramSham and just for one day, just one time, let’s not sell dreams, let’s expose the Instagram sham, and show kids that they’re enough. Actually, they’re more than enough. Show them that your life isn’t perfect, but you have many beautiful moments. Show them that their dreams aren’t so unattainable. Let’s do this, South Africa. Please spread the word.
Famous faces such as Gail Mabalane, Mel Bala, Tumi Morake, Lumko Johnson and more shared their struggles via the hashtag and took the opportunity to let their followers know that we all have struggles and that there is hope because they made it through.
Check out their messages of inspiration:
Main image credit: instagram.com/gail_mabalane