Even though my blog is centered on fashion for petite women, I think it’s also important to talk about how we can empower and support each other. My lifestyle series will center on meeting our goals and avoiding burnout.You can read other lifestyle posts here.
Get Real in 2018
If I’m being perfectly honest, I struggled with whether or not I should write this post. I went back and forth a lot. I weighed the consequences of what I was about to say, and decided it was worth saying. Being a very new blogger, I’ve been trying to grow my social media followings, especially Instagram, because what good is good content if nobody’s reading it? I can’t fulfill my purpose of helping people if the content isn’t reaching them. So in an effort to build engagement, I’ve been spending hours upon hours on social media and the effects on my mood have definitely been noticeable. Also what has become painfully obvious to me is that social media has evolved into, in my opinion, an ugly beast.
The evolution of social media
I remember in the early days of Myspace, Facebook, and others that we were truly engaging with each other without ulterior motives. If I gave a thumbs up to something you posted, it was because I truly liked it. Maybe we over shared back then. Okay, we definitely over shared back then. I’m pretty embarrassed sometimes when I discover old posts I made. However, my point is we communicated with each other because we wanted to, not because we felt we had to.
These days, social media feels totally rehearsed. Log onto Instagram and you will find tons of carefully curated illustrations of the ideal life. The feeds have been optimized in order to maximize on engagement and followers. If you’ve ever read an eBook about how to win at Instagram, then you know that feed cohesiveness is king. Stick to the same color schemes or you will never get the engagement you’re looking for. Perfectly contrasted picture upon perfectly contrasted picture shows women with the best clothes, the best hair, the hottest mates, in the most amazing locations, living their most awesome life.
Never good enough for the ‘Gram
The more I scroll, the more I feel like I’m somehow less than. Why don’t I look like that? How come my relationship doesn’t feel like that? Why don’t I travel like that? Down, down, I go in a spiral of self-loathing and doubt. I know I shouldn’t feel that way and must constantly remind myself that social media is just the highlight reel. People only show their best. And in doing that, others like me, are feeling like they can’t compare. We are only seeing half the picture. The funny thing about Instagram is, we the audience decide which photos and profiles get the most likes and the most views. And overwhelmingly, we are choosing these photos that only make us feel bad about ourselves and businesses are capitalizing off of this. Which gets me to my main point. Can we please push for making social media more real in 2018?!
Being Instagram worthy
I’m not entirely faultless either. Since starting my Instagram, I have spent many hours trying to find that perfect spot in my apartment, that ideal outfit, or props for that incredible flat lay I have designed in my head. On many occasions I have semi-jokingly referred to my husband as an, “instahusband.” And to all those real “instahusbands” out there, I truly feel for you! There’s also probably hundreds of photos in my camera that didn’t make the cut aka, not instaworthy. However, I’m hoping that in 2018, we can stop focusing on what’s perfect and start seeking out what’s real. I can’t be the only one fed up with the fake-ness and ingenuity, including my own.
Our struggles and vulnerability are what make us human and I feel like slowly the humanity is being totally sapped from social media. Also, in only showing our best side, I feel like we are missing the opportunity to be able to connect with other people and offer them support through their harder times. What’s worse is when someone does express some semblance of a human emotion, or their house is a mess, or their lighting isn’t natural they feel they have to apologize and caption their photo with, “sorry this isn’t instaworthy.” 1. What does instaworthy even mean and what all-knowing judge hands down the verdict of what is and isn’t instaworthy? 2. Why can’t being real be instaworthy? We shouldn’t have to apologize for not being perfect. Ultimately, no one is.
If you saw my Instagram post last Friday then you already got the tl;dr version of this post. If not you can find that here. Basically this is a call to action for us to start acting real. If you do choose to post something genuine, then tag it with #getrealin2018. Let’s put an end to social media making us feel like we’re not good enough. Show me your struggles, show me your strife, and show me you’re a fallible human too. Let’s use this platform for what I believe it was initially meant for.
Did you not have time to get ready because your kid was pulling on your sleeve to take him to the park? Go on with your bad self, girl, post that makeup free selfie! Did you have a particularly hard day with depression or anxiety? Talk to us, we’ll be there to support you because we know what you’re going through. Are you having a day where you just don’t feel good about yourself? It’s fine we all have them too.My hope is that if we start posting real content, we will start seeing real content. Let’s learn to engage with each other honestly, support and empower each other always, and cultivate actual meaningful relationships with people all over the world.
You know that I just adore you, and I’ve loved being on this journey with you! This post is so strong and I love this message so much. It’s always a little nerve-wracking to show the struggles, the hard days, the insecurities, etc. on social media, but I feel like you do a great job at being real and encouraging others to do the same! Being human is cool, and showing that we’re not all “instagram worthy” 24/7 is what we need more of! And connecting with people on a genuine level, whether it’s over their style in fashion or what book they are loving this month, is what I’d love to see happening on social media, too! I can’t wait to see this take off and this movement become something really special!
Thanks girl! I really appreciate your support! I think you also keep it real! Your instalive was so beautiful and vulnerable. We all need to lean on each other for support and stop trying to be perfect. It’s exhausting and I think more often than not, people want to see others that are relatable. Not mannequins
I do not use IG, I am on Pinterest, but I am sure others will find this post useful. Always looking for blog related tips!
I’m still trying to navigate the waters of Pinterest. Right now, I feel very confused by all the strategies even though I know it’s supposed to drive growth
I totally agree. It’s really difficult for people to feel like they need to live up to the perfect pictures out there on social media. Personally, I try to be as authentic as possible if it’s a messy kitchen or bags under my eyes. This is who i am!
It’s good to be real for sure! I’m hoping if more people take that attitude, we can start to see more of that in the future. Nobody wants to feel like that can’t live up to a standard even the people are portraying don’t live up to
Very well said! It really is a challenge to keep it real in such a fake environment. I think people need to be a little less judgmental and accepting of others for who they are. The world would be a much better place and so would social media! Thank you for sharing! To being REAL!
Thanks Pamela, I totally agree with you! Between all the scams run on Instagram and bought followers, it’s less about engaging genuinely and it just about business. In my opinion, that’s not the way social media should be
Totally agree with you on this! It’s hard not to go the same way though, and continue to perpetuate this unrealistic image. I think in general we need to seriously think about what we’re putting out there!
I actually wrote something on this topic on my travel blog – it might be of interest to you! (I don’t mind if you delete the link it’s just you might like to read it!) The post was titled, ‘The rose-tinted myth of travel: why travel ain’t all it’s cracked up to be’. Anyways, keep up the good (and authentic) work!
Thanks Ellie! I would love to read your link and support a fellow blogger. Yes if we all become more cognizant about what we are communicating and our message, I think I we would see a lot less ingenuity
I had a rule when I started on Instagram. If I can’t get the “shot” within a couple of pictures, scrap it. Move on to something else. I will spend more time for completed projects, but the personal posts are about as real as them come. Occasionally I will adjust my ponytail before getting on InstaStories. Best of luck being more genuine in 2018 and spreading the word.
I love the real posts! Why fit in when you can stand out?! Thanks for sharing girl, appreciate the support. Not sure how this is going to evolve but happy to be on the journey