A while ago, I wrote a post on social media and the effect it has on people, myself included. When I wrote the post, I had every intention to no longer fall into the cycle of comparing myself on social media, especially Instagram, and the downward spiral effect it can have on ones self-esteem. Unfortunately, after the post, I found myself consumed with the platform in hopes of building up my account and my blog. Luckily, I realized the effect it was having on me and have since stopped the behavior.
Since I’ve started this blog, I have made a point to share at least one blog post per week, usually Thursdays, but last week I simply needed a break. I felt so overwhelmed with thoughts of not being enough that I felt like a fraud for even writing a post. I felt like I had been talking so much about self-love, personal development, and not beating yourself up that when I started to fall into that cycle, I felt like a fraud for following through with what I was sharing.
This week is a new week and I realized that even though I had been feeling that way, I’m not a phony or a fraud for writing those posts because when I wrote them, I meant ever word and still do. I have good days and bad days and if I didn’t share those with you, than I wouldn’t be staying authentic to myself. I’m human, I’m not perfect and I’m not going to try to give off the impression that I am.
Unfortunately, I’ve been speaking criticism to myself for the last 20+ years so it’s not going to change overnight and with social media it seems to be even harder to break those habits. I’m better than I once was and still have room for improvement. I’m growing as a person every day and if I didn’t speak about my struggles also, I feel like I would be a fraud.
When I do have negative thoughts I have been reversing them and working to be more aware of them and why I am feeling that way. I’m taking the advice I gave in my self-love post to tell myself “I am, I can, and I will” instead of all of those negative thoughts that can easily be consuming and overwhelming.
Social media is like a tornado that can sweep you off your feet faster than you could ever imagine if you’re not aware of the effects it can have on you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still active on my social media and will continue to be because I know it can be used for good. Instead of using it as a platform to appearing to have a perfect life, I’m going to share all of my truth. My successes, my struggles, as well as inspiration to help others because that is my goal with this blog and all of my social media. I want to be authentic to myself and to others and help people realize their full potential while growing and improving their lives. I want to bridge the gap between our perception and the reality behind social media and the effects it can have.
I’m not seeing enough of the truth behind certain forms of social media and it is causing a flood of insecurities and self-criticism for not only myself but for so many others like me. When I started my Instagram for my blog, I had NO IDEA how much work some Influencers go through to make their feed look perfect. The editing, the photo shoots, and the staging of props. I’ve even seen people make comments about ordering food based on whether it is Instagram worthy.
Seeing the behind the scenes has been a wake-up call to me because that’s not me, and I’m guessing that’s not the average person. For some reason, even though we know that these people aren’t perfect and don’t have as perfect of lives as they appear to have on social media, we somehow allow ourselves to still compare our lives to theirs. The thing that finally allowed me to take a step back and realize the difference between them and I is that it’s their job.
Being a social media Influencer on Instagram, is their actual job, at least for many of them. A lot of those photos you see are staged, edited to make them look a specific way, and some are even photo shopped. This post is not meant to be a jab at Influencers in any way. I enjoy following Influencers to get fashion, food, and other inspiration and some also have very amazing posts that are very authentic and real. I do however feel that the behind the scenes information needs to be talked about more often.
Social media isn’t going anywhere and it seems as thought this comparison problem is only becoming a bigger issue. Influencers aren’t the problem, they’re simply doing their jobs. They are paid by companies to share their lives and aren’t going to receive a lot of sponsorship offers if they post photos of themselves looking like they just rolled out of bed. They have an image to uphold for the companies and brands that they partner with. They are basically social media models just not as extreme.
When people talk about the models in magazines, know that it is not just on print ads. It’s in our everyday lives through social media as well, so be aware of it for yourself and for you children especially. It seems that when we see a model in a magazine we’re more aware that those photos have been edited but with social media, it’s not talked about or discussed which is the problem. Many are going to social media for inspiration and find themselves comparing their lives to these people on Instagram with no idea that they’re comparing themselves just as they would to a model in a magazine.
I had to take a step back and remember that even though those Influencers appear to have the perfect lives, they go through the same struggles as all of us. They have to work on their relationships, and marriages, they have to make themselves go to the gym and eat healthy, and they’re kids throw tantrums. They have all of the same struggles as us, many just don’t share them because it’s not their job to share their struggles, it’s their job to sell products.
When I saw how much goes into it all I was amazed! I actually give them props because it’s not easy. They are basically a social media celebrity that has to continually update their social media through posts, update their stories multiple times a day and continually create and edit new content for their followers.
From the outside perspective, being an Influencer and getting paid to shop and share it with followers looks like the best job in the world but there is a lot more work that goes into it than you would ever guess. Look up “How to Build an Instagram” on YouTube and you’ll soon find that behind all of those seamless photos is a lot of work to make it appear that way. I’ve learned that being an Influencer may not be all it’s cracked up to be. They go through a lot of work to make their lives look perfect and what I realized is, I want to share the other side of that.
I want to share my truth with all of you so you know you’re not alone and to know that if you get hit with that social media tornado that you can find me here, speaking the truth behind it all. The people I follow who speak about their successes and struggles are the people I find the most inspiration from. The people who are real and that’s what my goal is to be for all of you, real! #PursuitofRealLife
Have you been hit with the social media tornado before? I’d love to hear your feedback and how you’ve learned to over come it.
xoxo – Katie
“Don’t use social media to impress people; use it to impact people.” – Dave Willis