I don’t know about y’all, but I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. I scroll through my feed multiple times a day to watch my favorite celebs and influencers’ IG stories and to see what my friends and frenemies are posting. There are weeks when I’m posting a lot and other times when I’ve looked at all of the perfect feeds with matching filters and color schemes and get annoyed.
My apartment will never look like that. My meal prep was pretty lame or why can’t I style an outfit like that or why don’t my clothes fit me better? She’s traveling….again?! My job isn’t as great as his/hers.
Instagram can can give you a complex if you constantly compare. Then I saw something on Twitter, ironically, a few days ago: Social media is only a highlights reel.
One more time: Social media is only a highlights reel.
Instagram vs. Reality
Not breaking news. Instagram is definitely a highlights reel. I personally know people who have some of the most inspiring captions and perfectly edited and curated pics that are dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. While their feeds are #instaworthy, their lives aren’t quite exactly the same. Although, I know this, I sometimes still find myself comparing those filtered pics to my reality.
Not so instaworthy
I enjoy taking pictures and the process of editing them because it gives me a creative outlet. However, I will probably never have an amazing IG feed. I’m awkward and don’t know how to pose – thanks a lot Millie Lewis. I sometimes go to bed with toothpaste on my adult acne when I’m waiting on my shipment of salicylic acid. When I have a cold and can’t breathe, I walk around with a tissue in one of my nostrils. Don’t ask – it’s magic and it works EVERY TIME. I’ve got a pretty long list of places I want to travel. However, I also have a ton of bills I want/need to pay off before I let wanderlust take over. This reality is that this is a lot of other people’s reality as well. And that’s perfectly fine.
There are plenty of “influencers” who have made an effort to post more real snaps of their lives, which I appreciate. But they are balancing being genuine and relatable with making a living by featuring products, and magnificent foods and places with those heavily edited pictures. I can’t knock anyone’s hustle. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I need to see everyone I follow with a tissue up their nose, but I do need to remind myself that every single person on my feed is human. They are all taking regular poops, get sick, sometimes get lipstick on their teeth, and have probably waved at someone who was actually waving at the person behind them.
Are you living an Insta Lie?
This isn’t a critique of Instagram or people I follow. I actually really love it. But if you’re faking happiness for your feed and followers, I hope this makes you reconsider. Whether you’ve got 50 followers or 5,000. I decluttered my Instagram and follow a lot more accounts that inject a lot more positivity into my feed. This has helped the way I look at my feeds.
If you’re comparing your life to the pictures you’re looking at, it may help to remind yourself about the amount time they spent chasing the perfect lighting, finding props, testing out the best angles, and then editing that picture. Instagram can be work and some people are great at it. Props to them!
You can still live your best life and double-tap the very best parts other people want to share, without comparing.
Anyways, here’s some food for thought:
Do you have a love/hate relationship with Instagram? Let’s chat – leave a comment below!