I won’t tell you anything you don’t already know if I say that social media platforms do not represent real life. Ah, I can still remember the prime age of Facebook when everyone would post about their latest holidays with friends. I felt sad because I never went on holidays with friends, mind you, I was still pretty young to be let out in the world on my own but you know, that didn’t matter at the time. I thought everybody but me had an amazing life, full of adventures and fun. Wrong.
Then came Instagram. Ahh Instagram. My favorite social media platform – and my worst enemy. Those pretty photos always made (I should say make…) me think that my life was very boring, that I didn’t do anything fun or that my personality and physique were not good enough. Naive little me never thought about the fact that these photos were edited. It didn’t cross my mind even once until someone mentioned it. It opened a new side of social media to me – the edited one. The one where people edit out their “flaws” (inverted comas here, because often people don’t see them anyways) or things they feel uncomfortable with. But also the one where people edit their life by only talking about parties, vacations, good experiences and showing themselves happy, smiling or laughing.
And so we think that our lives are so boring in comparison because we didn’t go on holiday to the Maldives in that gorgeous bikini with a 6-pack, a thigh gap and a glorious tan. We don’t have the amazing friends they talk about or show in photos, laughing out loud obviously. We don’t have this super healthy lifestyle of eating so healthy and going to the gym everyday.
But what they don’t show are the behind the scenes, the real them. The reality of what happens daily.
For some time, I thought that’s what social media should be like. An edited version of our life where all is perfect and pink. But it felt wrong. I personally struggle with perfectionism and I don’t want to feel that I’m not good enough daily and I never want people to think that when they come across my platforms.
But can we be real without being boring? Can we talk about the “downs” and still be of interest?
I absolutely think we can and should. Because life is not rainbows and ponies everyday, we all have good days, and bad days, that’s the reality. That’s why I follow accounts, blogs and Youtube channels that I know to be real and honest. I love hearing about the millions ways things went wrong that day, the struggles that happens, the unplanned things that happens because it makes everything sound so much more honest and like the creator is a real person, not an edited version.
I don’t care if the photos are perfect, as long as the captions, stories and text are honest. Please show me amazing photos of your travels and restaurant experiences and tell me if people were staring at you the entire time you were posing or if you smiled to someone and had something in your teeth or if you came out of the toilet and had toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Do text me later telling me all about what went on behind the scenes of those perfect Instagram shots.
Please be real with me, I’ll love you all the more so for that.