Social media is not real life. It is a highlight reel.
I don’t think that can be said too many times. Can I get an amen? I know that I personally need to be reminded of this on the regular. Because, even though I KNOW this, I still find myself falling for the marketing schemes of fellow digital influencers, which is that things are exactly as they appear. But let’s shed some light on that notion. Most of the time, the reality of the situation is that things are most certainly not always as they appear – or as we’re led to believe by way of imagery.
The fact of the matter is that the job of a digital influencer is to do just that – influence. And a lot of the time, influence means inspiring by way of portraying “the ideal”.
I don’t mean to discount bloggers (HELLO! I am one!), but I’m just stating the fact that most of the photos are a little staged. Because they have to be – it’s just the nature of the business. Unfortunately, I don’t have cameras that follow me around 24/7, so if I want to capture a moment, I have to create it.
But anyway, I’m just reminding you of the reality and encouraging you to remember this truth the next time you’re fighting comparison. I just wanted to state that things aren’t always as they seem. Even I fall for it, which makes me laugh because I know what goes into getting a good photo! And trust me, it’s not as easy as it looks!
But just in case you needed someone to tell you AGAIN, here I am. (hi!) Remember that the photos/lifestyle are just that – a projection. You don’t know what the reality of the situation is like or what their day actually looked like; you can only see what they chose to “project” or share with you. And us bloggers are good at tailoring what we share so that you get the best snapshot of our lives. Remember that it’s believable because it’s supposed to be.
What to do when you fall into the Instagram comparison trap?
It has basically become part of the new norm these days – playing the comparison game. Getting sucked into the ugly downwards spiral. It’s always been something humans struggle with, but social media has brought the issue to a whole new level! So I just accept that it’ll continue to happen no matter how hard I try to fight it.
The important thing to learn and recognize is that it’s HOW you respond to these feelings that will make all the difference. So accept that it’s normal, but be proactive in how you deal with it.
Here are a few tips I’ve come up with to help you do this well. Just to be clear, I’m more so talking about the comparison game when it comes to influencers and people on social media who “curate” images.
Admit you’re playing the comparison game.
Well, first and foremost, recognize that you’ve fallen into a TRAP (because that’s what it is!). And admit the simple fact that you are comparing yourself, even though you know you shouldn’t be. Sometimes we do this in our subconscious and there is power in actually admitting it to ourselves and bringing it into the forefront of our mind.
Don’t be fooled – bring in the truth.
Accept and appreciate that what you see is the ideal and that it’s either someone’s job to get cool photos like that, or they’re adding to their brand (usually).
Imagine what it was like to take that photo.
Remind yourself that they had to “get” that photo – try to imagine what that situation looked like. Who took the photo? How did they capture that moment so perfectly? Even just considering these two questions will make you feel a little better about yourself and your situation.
Purge who you’re following.
If this person always makes you feel bad about yourself, then do yourself a favor and hit that unfollow button. Part of being an influencer is providing positive inspiration – which hopefully you get from those you choose to follow – but if not, #bye. You’re supposed to be inspired and not feel worse about yourself because of what someone is posting. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Don’t let their awesomeness discount yours.
In other words, just because she’s pretty or having a really cool experience (like, all the time…) doesn’t say anything about you or your life. You can both be pretty and awesome. I know it sounds silly, but it helps me to think like this. And also, it doesn’t diminish how pretty or awesome you are. I also remind myself of my mantra “good for her, not for me” in these times.
Get off social media!
Taking a break is always a good idea! I do it at least one day a week and I think that’s okay. I usually only open my personal pages on the weekend and leave my blog for Monday-Friday. When you feel yourself getting down-in-the-dumps over where you are in life (in comparison to hers), free yourself from that by just simply cutting it out of your life! I promise it’ll still be waiting for you when you choose to come back.
Do something to lift your spirits.
Get off the couch and do something for yourself! Get dressed or do the dishes or something that will move your life forward, no matter how big or small! Shifting your focus will make the world of a difference! And I guarantee you that you’re better off spending your energy on doing something than sitting there watching someone else do something.
I’m sure I could go on about this FOREVER, but in all honesty, it’s something I think about pretty much every single day. Which is silly because looking at social media is a choice that I make, but it’s also part of my job. But still, I think I could handle things much better – and I’m guessing I’m not the only one who feels like that. Maybe? Either way, I thought it was important to be honest about my social media life as an influencer, and to let you know that I struggle with it just as much as the next person.
If you can add to this conversation, please do. It makes me feel less alone and like I’m going somewhere with honest talks like this. So please comment either here or on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog if you feel like it!
FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT – lol.
After writing this post, I was inspired to go through some of my photos and tell you what was actually going on and give you some insight to what was happening behind the scenes:
An insane amount of spring cleaning was done this day and countless repeats of wash, dry, fold, repeat went into this photo. It wasn’t even meant to be used for Instagram or the blog but to sent to my boyfriend explaining my day but with some cropping and lightening, it made a pretty good photo to share and put up for The weekend hostess with the mostess.
You can’t see it but there two children in the window of the house across the street that were watching me try and capture this photo for maybe 15 minutes. I was walking Winston alone and didn’t have anyone to take it for me so after multiple attempts and weird children watching, I made due. Would have been nice if the garbage bin wasn’t in the way but oh well, #life.