I have read so many things in the past about the life we portray through Instagram, and how it can contribute to how crap we feel sometimes. And as someone who spends a lot of time working on their Instagram, I know I contribute to it at times. As an 'influencer', if I am having a bad day, I generally choose not to disclose that on Instagram, and if I did it would be accompanied by lots of emojis to lighten things up a little. I know this is problematic, and it could be an opportunity to make someone else feel better about their bad day too, but there are two reasons I choose not to:
I know from my own experiences not to look towards the life of someone else to cheer you up. It's never ever going to work. In fact, those down days have often come from spending a good hour sitting down and comparing myself to other people. It's an absolute stopper on any happiness, creativity, and productivity. In some ways, the overwhelming glossy and happy veneer of Instagram makes it easier not to do that. It's all about beautiful photos and outfits I love, not a particularly real representation of life. I do believe people completely understand how others use Instagram to create an image of themselves. I can't count how many times someone has urged me to remember that Instagram is just us showing the best bits, all the edited highlights. It's kinda obvious, I am sure it is to you guys too.
My Instagram, in particular, is not a place to get to know me. It's just a place to share outfits and to inspire you guys. For a personal connection then reading this blog, or watching my YouTube videos is where my own personality comes into play. Each platform has to run at a different level after all, otherwise you guys would have no reason to follow me on Instagram and then come to read this post. It has to offer two different things.
The second reason is particularly relevant to this week, which is why I wanted to write about this now. And it's that I don't want my down days to be put into a little caption alongside a picture of my outfit, that is also always there for me to remember. We all know that time heals everything, and how you felt fed up on Monday can be completely gone by Friday. And here is a specific example of that for me..
It was Sunday evening. Harry and I had just got back from a weekend away for an incredible wedding. We had an amazing weekend, but were currently sat surrounded by mess we needed to unpack, both feeling crap about an argument we had on the way home. I was frustrated about work, and specifically Instagram. I had done my best to disconnect over the weekend, but was immersing myself back into my all consuming online life ready for the week ahead; feeling frustrated about the growth of my following, comparing the likes my photos had to the photos of others, and generally hating on the ‘gram. I was completely fed up. I love my job so much, but when you feel crap about yourself, the feeling of spending the next day staring at photos of yourself, editing videos of yourself, and generally talking about yourself, can feel incredibly daunting.
Yet, despite this, the photo I put online was of me smiling, with the caption: "It's been such an amazing weekend!! I have laughed SO sooo much, and also eaten more than I even thought possible!" Pretty much a million miles away from what I was feeling. But, deceiving as that may be, I wouldn't do it differently. It was important to me to try and be positive, to force myself to think about the good weekend to cheer me up, and to put something out there that would bring back a happy memory rather than a sad one. Looking back at it now, it makes me think of the weekend, not that bad mood. Especially as that bad mood seems like ages ago! So, yep, it's all selfish reasons for that one. I know maybe there was someone out there who follows me who was also having a bad day, feeling inadequate and down about themselves, and maybe me admitting my bad day would have helped them. But it wouldn't have in the long run, because it would have been a boost through a comparison, which never lasts. Also, to really get it accross, the caption would have to be this long... and no one wants that on the 'gram!
The reason I wanted to write this now is because I have had a misery of a week. Those of you who watch my vlogs with know Neville, our three legged grey tabby cat, has been missing since last Saturday. We are all super worried, and my week has been rather unproductive because of it (cheers, Nev!) It's made me all the more aware of how I show myself online, and how I want to put out a positive image of me, even when it's not necessarily a true reflection of me in that moment. It is important both for future me (who I know will thank past me for not whining on Insta for a week), and you guys too. To further perpetuate that Instagram is the highlights, and not something to compare your own life too.
Anyway, I hope you all have a nice weekend! Of course I will be happily sharing my outfits on Instagram, and probably whining about things on the weekly vlog... I am all about variation, haha! And please keep your fingers crossed that Neville comes back home for us too.