Instagram vs. Reality: What Is it Really Like Living in the US?

No country is a perfect place to live, including the United States. For all of its natural beauty, opportunities, and exceptionalism, life in America is far from ideal. Gun violence is widespread, racism and other forms of prejudice continue to exist, the nation’s politics are toxic, and its infrastructure is in bad shape. Someone in an online community asked what it is like to live in America, and the opinions reflect the diversity the country is known for.

1. It’s the Best Place To Live

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For many respondents, America is the best place they’ve ever lived. For them, it’s a land of unlimited potential and opportunity, and living here is unlike living anywhere else.

2. Lucky To Have Been Born Here

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An American acknowledges their good fortune while recognizing that not everyone shares their experiences, writing in part, “I consider myself fortunate to have been born an American and to have the opportunity to be gainfully employed, support my family comfortably, and we own some property.” They continue by saying they wish Americans from different walks of life could connect free from judgment.

3. There Are Two Americas

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America is a place of beauty, opportunity, hope, and privilege, while it is simultaneously a place of greed, pain, extreme selfishness, oppression, and danger, opines one user.

4. Socioeconomic Status Matters

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Money matters regardless of where you live, but your net worth directly affects your quality of life in America. A user states that the U.S. is “Great if you’re rich. Horrible if you’re poor.”

5. Americans Are Friendly

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The approachability of Americans stands in stark contrast with the aloof nature of people from other countries, says one globetrotter, who appreciates how people in the U.S. acknowledge his presence with a nod or a wave as they walk by, unlike people from other countries who aren’t necessarily rude, but they’re not very friendly, either.

6. Life Is All Work and No Play

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Some voice their belief that life in America is all work and no time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, with one user writing, “Work and stress so you can afford a home you have no time to live in and a family you don’t get to see,” and another user saying, “Work. Eat. Sleep. Stress. Get one or two days off per week. Rinse and repeat.”

7. Variety Is the Spice of Life

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The variations in climate from coast to coast and the numerous amenities available to U.S. residents make a good impression on at least one individual on the thread.

8. Blessed and Ashamed

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Prosperous Americans often live in a bubble, insulated and isolated from the unrest occurring in other parts of the country. This self-aware individual recognizes their privilege and reveals that this is something they struggle with: “I am both blessed and ashamed that, while my situation is better than most of the country, the fact that the next town over is reeling from economic devastation, just never sat right with me.”

9. America Is Just Like Other Countries

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A visitor who travels extensively around the U.S. praises the country’s diversity but claims it’s just like any other country but under a different name.

10. A Land of Opportunity

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At least one commenter feels America is the land of opportunity, remarking, “I live in a town where I can do what I love and get paid decently for it. It’s a land of unlimited opportunity everywhere. It’s not perfect, but I and those around me have it nice. And we are considered on the poorer side by most.” That is what the American dream is all about.
This thread inspired this post.

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