By Ashley Fox
Everywhere I look, I see the same thing, people with their noses buried in their phones or posing for a perfect selfie. Whether it is on our commute to work, walking down the street, at the pub or at restaurants, we are consumed. We live in a time and age where social media has taken on a huge role in many people’s lives. We all are seeking for the same thing, to feel accepted, inspired and happy. Instagram has proved to be the source for many when looking for inspiration and motivation. However, is it doing as much damage as it is good? Have people started to confuse Instagram life with real life?
We all love Instagram, don’t we? An app that flashes beautiful pictures, stunning people, the perfect body, drool worthy meals, ideal travel destinations… the dream life. Is that what it is though, just a dream? Studies done by the University of Buffalo show that those with low self-esteem tend to be the most affected negatively by social media. Studies go even further to reveal that many women suffer from acute post-selfie posting anxiety. Yes, this is real! Why is this? Well, social comparison is happening here, which will lead you down a serious path of insecurity. Are many of us forgetting the number one rule of Instagram? You can’t compare your backstage to someone else’s runway! Most of the images we see on Instagram are not reality. You may follow someone who looks like the model of fitness. However, six days a week they sit on their bum eating pizza and watching TV. The one-day they go to the gym and feast on kale is what’s going to make that Insta feed. That is the power of social media though; it can be deceiving!
People love to display the very best bits of life, while leaving out the not so great bits. Bloggers also take advantage of Photoshop, lighting, filters and apps to make that perfect photo even better. Keep in-mind, to get that perfect photo, they most likely took at least one hundred shots just for that one picture! We all have those days where life is just not clicking for and it’s so easy to scroll through your feed and compare your blah day to the epic shots on Insta. There is such a disconnection between our “true” selves and our selves online; that very thin line between our lives has become blurred. We are all guilty of taking that “just for Instagram photo” and there is nothing wrong with that. We need to remember that although Instagram is great for fun, inspiration and motivation, reality is so much sweeter! There is no way we can always live up to that perfect, filtered standard.
It is impossible to be 100% all the time. No one can eat clean every single meal, have perfect hair and makeup or a 6 pack 24 hours a day 365 days every year… maybe a handful of people can, but where is the fun in that? We need to be more gracious with our selves, more forgiving of our flaws and more honest in a world that likes to sugar coat everything. Although it is great to post the highlights of our lives (cause we all do it), that isn’t reality, life has its ups and downs and as long as we can keep that in mind I believe we are one step closer to finding true happiness. There is no such thing as being perfect, and that is totally ok! Our imperfections are what make us special and beautiful.
So, friends, enjoy social media and all that it has to offer. Just be aware of what you’re soaking up. Unfollow accounts that promote anything negative or make you question your self-worth. Take a stand when you see something you don’t like and stand up for others. Rather than doing things just to post them, live in the moment and be present, because life is happening right here and now. Be the inspiration that you are searching for online and live by example. There will always be haters; it is absolutely impossible to please everyone. So, rather than trying to please all your followers, please yourself!
The world really is a wonderful, beautiful place. We are so lucky to be living in a time where we can get inspiration from people all over the world! Sometimes we just need a little reminder that there is so much more to life than what sucks us in behind our phones. Do what feeds your soul and makes your heart dance. Live in your truth and you can’t go wrong.