My day usually goes something like this: wake up, refresh Twitter, shower, refresh Facebook, go to work, refresh, refresh, send an email, refresh, REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH- until I am completely burnt out on what all my friends, strangers and celebrities are up to. I used to enjoy seeing photos of that kid from high school’s cool dinner, or what my favorite blogger wore that day. However, I’ve noticed recently that social media no longer makes me happy, it’s making me feel inadequate.
As women (and men!), we are under enough pressure as is. Pressure to have the perfect hair, a great outfit, perfect make-up, a toned body, and the list goes on and on. Now, I’ve never held myself to the standard of being perfect- because I know that’s unattainable. I just do my thing and hold enough confidence to be myself and work with what I’ve got.
However, that confidence diminishes when I go on Instagram and I see my favorite bloggers perfectly polished outfit, frizz-free hairdo and pore-less face. The outfit that I loved when I got dressed in the morning becomes suddenly not trendy enough, my new haircut is deemed as lame and I start researching the latest craze in skin care (FYI, it’s rubbing coffee on your nose with lemon- DOESN’T WORK…says a friend).
Then I go on Twitter and see my friend started her day with an egg white scramble and a protein shake. Great, now I feel fat because I had a bagel for breakfast. She’s got abs and I’ve got cream cheese on my shirt. So I promise myself I’ll go to the gym after work and never eat Einstein’s again.
Then I get on Facebook and see that annoying couple post a PERFECT photo of them in a field or some sh$# and I think, “why don’t I have cute pictures like that?” “Why am I not having a picnic in an old industrial building with perfect lighting?”(But then I usually go back to gagging at the making-out photos and feel thankful that my relationship is a blast- with or without photos with lyrics underneath).
Every single time I refresh the page, my confidence decays just a little bit and I wish I could be more like anyone but me. I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there that don’t feel this way, but for the millions of us that hold some insecurities, enough is enough.
This morning, I had an Epiphany mid Instagram binge. All these social media sites are for the HIGHLIGHTS of our life. No-one is posting pictures of themselves popping a pimple or looking like a wet rat when they get out of the shower or fighting with their BAE<3. We will never get to see those things that inevitably, everyone goes through- so we forget that they exist for everyone. We see ourselves look less that perfect and doing less than awesome things everyday. It’s truly destructive to always be comparing our lows to someone’s highs.
So many people portray their lives to be perfect online- they made the perfect meal, had the perfect workout, wore the perfect outfit. I’m happy for you really, I am! We should all be proud of the cool stuff we do and accomplish. But I’ll no longer make myself believe that’s how your life is all the time. You’re showing me your highs, and you deserve the right to keep your lows private.
I’m guilty of this too, I know. I’ll post pictures of the great sweater I wore and how good my hair looked that day, but there’s no way you’re going to see me in my 2007 Paul Frank Jammies with a seaweed mask on eating cookie dough by the roll- but know that that does happen 1-2x a week. But now when I refresh the page and see that bloggers stellar “just-woke-up-perfectly-curled!” hair, I’ll know that she probably slept with her mouth open and drooled everywhere, just like the rest of us.
Photo by Sathish Issac