Before I go to bed at night, and the first thing I do when I wake up, is check Instagram. I feel like lately this habit has become a little bit of a bad one, I’m observing more and more insta-girls come to light and I’m beginning to question how this is affecting women and even men. I personally don’t feel bad about not being an insta-girl, but for a lot of people I can see why you would.
So, I want to get this off my chest: You’re not failing at life if you’re not an insta-girl. I’m guilty of having days where we take hundreds of photos, and I then span them out over the course of a couple of weeks on my Instagram profile, of course I don’t hire a professional photographer nor do I don those Gucci flat shoes everyone has, but I’ve planned ahead and made my life seem a little more exciting than it may actually be.
Instagram Culture is captivating, and easy to obsess over
When I first started blogging, I caught myself filling my Instagram feed with more and more “famous” bloggers, the ones who have the professional photographers and brand deals, the ones who have already worked hard enough to establish themselves as a professional blogger. I was not yet at that point, and I’m still not to be honest, but I wanted to be.
The one thing I would tell myself over and over is that my blog is not a failure and my Instagram is not garbage because I don’t have a photographer or brand deal. These women and men have spent years working hard to establish their brand. Something that I’m still doing to this day.
But I can see why bloggers and young people begin to put themselves down. Most bloggers delete their beginning, and make it seem like they made it from the word go. But the truth is, we delete our old content or put it on private. I tweeted out last month asking if it was a bad thing that I wanted to delete my old posts, to which a lot of bloggers told me that there was no shame in it, and that if my content from before was no longer relevant to my blog today, then deleting it or privating it was a good option. I did decide to put the majority of my old posts on private. Which got me thinking: I wonder what the blogs of these bloggers who have made it already was like before they did. This applies to Instagram too, the majority of my old posts are now in an archive.
So, why all of the comparing?
I’m guilty of definitely comparing myself to bloggers, but not so much Instagrammers. I think it’s because I got into blogging around the time transparency because more essential, when bloggers began admitting things they do behind the scenes and how everything is not as it seems, but I compare my content to theres and not my lifestyle to theres. However, with Instagram, I don’t remember a time when someone posted a photo and said “We took this photo in this same pose until we got the one like, fifty times.”
There’s definitely a stark difference in bloggers and Instagrammers for this alone. That’s where the comparing comes from. But I don’t feel like a bad person because I don’t get a starbucks coffee every morning or because I don’t get breakfast in a small cafe where I’ll do some work. I don’t even feel guilty about the fact my story isn’t packed with PR unboxings and “Look what x brand sent me!” because I’m self aware. I know I’m not an insta-girl, and I know my blog isn’t anything special.
Being self aware in a world where blogging and instagramming is taking over peoples lives is important, but also being honest about how you treat your social media is important too. Social media is known for causing depression and making people feel pretty awful about their lives, because seeing that other people get to do amazing things and they get to splash it all over their pages makes people feel like their lives are, well, boring.
I’m not saying that the people who get amazing opportunities are wrong for posting their experiences online. It’s their page, they can do what they want, but what I am saying, is that it’s important for people to begin to realise that yes, this person is doing amazing things, but they’ve worked hard at growing a following, and most of these sponsored opportunities are literally jobs. The same as yours. Does it look more luxurious? Yes. But it doesn’t make your life crap for whatever reason.
I recently watched the movie Ingrid Goes West, and it had me thinking a lot about this specific topic, I had already begun writing this and I didn’t really know what the movie was about before we started watching it, I just saw Aubrey Plaza and was sold. But the movie basically follows Ingrid who became obsessed with a girl she saw on Instagram, moves to California and befriends her, and it all goes tits up basically.
It had me thinking because I realised that there probably are people out there who are like Ingrid, who believe that everything that is posted on to Instagram is real life, that these bloggers, me included, aren’t calculating the images to post on their feed, the images that fit in with a “theme” and that we aren’t taking photos days in advance. It’s the truth, bloggers take Instagram too seriously, which is something I’ve touched on before, and it’s easy to start to obsess over certain influencers and begin to believe that their life is actually how it’s perceived to be on Instagram.
So, the very obvious truth is that I’m not an insta-girl. I may have habits that all bloggers have, I may be guilty of calculating a theme, but I’m not an insta-girl, and if you’re not either, don’t worry about it.