Life isn’t (just) Instagram

Life is not simply Instagram. There. I said it.

After a recent hiatus from most of my social media accounts, I received a rude awaking once I emerged from my social media-less cocoon.  I opened up an Instagram account again and began to search for a few of my favorite things. Travel. Fashion. and then the last one…Friends. I slowly began to look at my friends lives through my Insta-lenses and felt my self-image plummet within a matter of moments.

How could she afford to travel there? No wonder this friend hasn’t been texting me back, they’re literally all over their significant other. And when did he get that job?

I looked around my bare apartment with beige walls and contemplated my seemingly beige life.

I don’t have a boyfriend who is 100% devoted to me 24/7 and lets the world know it. I don’t have the money to travel around the world. I don’t have a model body (I like butter so darn much!).

And guess what? They don’t either.

How do I know this? Because I used to be one of them. I would spend time crafting the perfect picture poses, take a picture over and over until I got the right angle, added layers upon layers of subtle filters to make things just right, include a cutesy caption and boom. Nothing ever received under 50 likes.

I heard once that social media is like a highlight reel of the best moments of our lives. A friend and I had a discussion about this on the way to work one day. He argued that if we are true and vulnerable on social media we will be torn apart. I don’t disagree with him. But I think creating an altered reality where we only put our best moments forward is a far greater disservice to ourselves and those around us.

Will I still use social media? Of course I will. Does it give me slight anxiety? Well yes, emerging from a cocoon isn’t pretty! But now I will see it through a different lens. A lens where things aren’t always what they seem. And remind myself that everyone, me included, has their beige colored days, months, and sometimes even years. We just choose not to post about them.