"An Instagram feed does not a person make."
Can I be really honest? All those 'Authentic'-type, hashtags make me bristle a little (@socalitybarbie, anyone?). Glorious as the images are, I can't relate to that charmed, Insta-friendly version of authentic that floods my feed. Nope, I don't live in a rustic setting with a conveniently photogenic doorstep/ drink coffee/ have assorted adorable offspring/ go on jaunts that involve bluebell-strewn woodlands/ own a Mac/ bake my own bread/ sew my own frocks/ instinctively know where the nearest patch of wild garlic is growing. That could be a pretty good game of Instagram bingo, right?
A feeling of inadequacy can creep in. When I see those kind of posts, on blogs and social media, I think, 'beautiful, but my life doesn't look like that. Is that okay?' And of course that's totally okay. I can only be me. You can only be you. I have my own unique perspective and so do you. And if your own feed is scoring high in Instagram bingo, great! That's your life and those are your treasures to share. If I have an issue with it, that's down to me. But, it's hard to go against the tide. I want my pictures to look pretty, just like everyone else does! I'll admit I wish I could score higher on Instagram bingo sometimes, and the things that I post can reflect that. This picture above, for instance – I spent time arranging the bits and bobs just so and then edited it and played with filters before posting it. But you wanna know what my kitchen actually looked like when I did it? This:
Yep, of course the things we post are curated. It would be weird if they weren't.
Even I don't want to see this!
I'm still feeling a lot of the feels I chatted about in my post about comparison, but lately I've been considering authenticity in particular. I read this great Wattlebird post and this on A Playful Day and started thinking why do I share the things I share? Is it for me or other people? How do I find a balance between truthful reality and what I'm comfortable with or proud of sharing?
Perhaps we've got to try to bury comparison once and for all and focus on finding joy and beauty in the small things that are particular to us, capturing what makes our own hearts sing. The chances are they'll look different to everyone else's and that's the best bit. Our little slices of the Internet are where we share our victories, joys, and find community. And how much we choose to share is entirely up to us.
Phew! Well, that was a long one! And I feel I might have come up with more questions than answers. I'd love to know your thoughts on any of this stuff. What motivates you to share? How honest are you online? Are there any Instagram bingo items I've missed?