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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

When Your Instagram Feed Makes You Cry (Not in a Good Way)


I was just flicking through Instagram, my distraction of choice these days. Boredom killer, pretty picture gallery, inspiration central. I was just scrolling. Like the ten other times I'd done the same thing that day.

I came to a picture of a beautiful (not intimidatingly beautiful, just right beautiful) girl, hair flying around her face (slightly messy, but not hot-messy, just carefree messy). She was the featured guest on a podcast I listen to and the image did its job of making me read the full caption.

In three sentences I learned she was a wife and mother, someone who had fought battles and come through them with a beautiful message. And that her message is being told in her (amazing) new book.

Maybe it's because I'm overdue for highlights and a pedicure...

Maybe it's the fact that I have had two essays I've written politely declined (rejected) this month. Or the fact that a piece I was so excited to have accepted just got bumped because a staff writer wrote a similar essay...

Maybe it was the three phone conversations I had yesterday where the person on the other line had to let me go to deal with something more pressing (important)...

Maybe my grocery run to Aldi with four wild and rambunctious children this morning just seemed so plebeian in contrast...

Whatever the reason, tears rose up hot and fast behind my eyes.

She is what you wish you were.
She has a better story than you.
She is achieving dreams you aren't ambitious enough to commit to. 

Lies don't stick around long when they are held up against truth - so snapped off my phone and buried it under my thigh.  And I spoke out loud the truth I believe about myself,


You're enough. You're enough. You're enough.

Which made my kids look at me like I was crazy. 

I've posted before about how Instagram (and all social media really) lies to us. Until now my exceptionally high self-esteem has always made me feel immune to the comparison trap, but that snapshot of a stranger's life made me feel wildly inadequate in a second.

It was a gut-check for me.

How much social media can I ingest before it starts to change the way I view reality?
Am I putting on armor to defend me from the lies that swirl around everyday?
Is the way I use my phone pure foolishness?
Am I truly pursuing my Author and Perfecter or am I merely chasing my own idea of perfection?



1 comment:

  1. It's easy to doubt yourself when you see what you think is perfection online. It's dangerous. I try to remind myself when I look at a "perfect" wife/mom online that behind the camera is chaos and it took 50 shots to get that one "perfect" one to show off.

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