I will start this post with a couple of shout outs to fellow bloggers who have written about this very subject (and the countless others whose blogs I don’t know). Mother of one on the run (lovingly referred to as MOOTR in my blog) and #milleniallifecrisis who has even started double captioning her Instagram posts (more on that below). They have written about the ‘instagram life’ that I will get further into now.
What inspired me to talk about perception versus reality was a conversation in the car. Newmom and I were talking about something or someone we knew and I said something about the ‘Instagram life’. The little guy asked ‘whats Instagram life?’. That is a really great question little man…
…Instagram life is your best foot forward in everything and anything you share on social media. You never have a bad hair day, there is never a blemish on your skin. Your make up is always perfect. Everyone is smiling and posing with the best possible light and no one has a ‘bad’ side. Your home is always immaculate and organized and every meal you eat looks like it was created by a 5 star chef.
But its an illusion. Not everyone has a perfectly manicured lawn. Not everyone smiles all the time. People have bad days. What you don’t know about that perfect selfie is there were multiple other pictures that were painfully reviewed and picked over before choosing the one that ends up on social media. That perfect family phot was actually the 12th attempt and at least one person lost their mind by take #8. As I mentioned above, #milleniallifecrisis has gone as far as doing a double caption on each of her Instagram posts, one for “Instagram life” and another that is a little more realistic (one of my favorites was a beautiful winter pic where the reality caption mentioned that it was one of the coldest days she has ever experienced!).
AND WE EAT IT UP. There are people with thousands, tens and hundreds of thousands of followers. People who get paid by companies to just wear a certain brand or have their product in one of these people’s posts. There are people who get upset and depressed because of the perceived “perfect’ lives others are living in this social media lens. The trick is teaching the little guy that everything we see on Instagram and Facebook and whatever other social media sites we are looking at is not always reality. To teach him to resist FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
So much easier written than done. Envy is so real. There is a reason it is a deadly sin.
I experience it myself. more often than I would care to admit. I too am guilty of pouring over multiple copies of the same pose looking for the most flattering. Of only wanting to post about the good, because trust me, there are plenty of moments that aren’t great. It will take a lot of self discipline to be able to teach our little guy about perception versus reality. But I feel this might be one of the most important lessons newmom and I will teach him. Especially in this social media driven culture we are living in today.
Thank you all for reading and your continued support of this blog. Please follow if you haven’t already. And please leave a comment. I would love to hear about your own experiences with social media.