My Life Is A Mess, But My Instagram Feed Is Perfect. What Gives?

   Which picture better reflects reality? Hint: I'm more likely to be screaming than smiling at any given time.

Which picture better reflects reality? Hint: I’m more likely to be screaming than smiling at any given time.

Taking a perfect Instagram photo is a process

First, I have to get Vagner on board. (This is often the hardest part.) Then, I pick an unassuming stranger or friend and sweetly ask, “Can you take a quick picture of us?” 

10 minutes, 50+ pictures and one annoyed husband later, I have a photo that I feel okay with. Then comes the editing in VSCO and Airbrush, where I make sure the lighting is flattering and erase any acne or stray hairs.

Next is the anxiety as I wait for the likes to roll in. What if my followers think I’m not funny? Why doesn’t this have 100 likes already?

What is all of this for?

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using Instagram and Facebook as a highlight reel to show off your proudest moments. I’m cheering you on, because we all stunt for the ‘gram. I also don’t think you have to be doom and gloom all the time. Surely, there’s a balance.

I usually laugh when someone tells me they envy my life based on social media. IF ONLY YOU KNEW. I’m quick to post pictures of my Bible when I haven’t read it in weeks, or an upbeat #throwback selfie when I’m trying to remember the last time I had an anxiety-free day.

I often live my best life on social media when things are actually in shambles. The weeks before I was hospitalized for suicidal ideation, I shared inspirational quotes and cute pictures of me with my sorority sisters.

Maybe you’re guilty of the same thing. As Joanne the Scammer would say, it’s the ultimate scam: spending my free time envious of your life while you scroll through my posts and feel envious of mine.

Truth is, we’re all messy people living messy lives in need of grace, even if someone’s social media presence has convinced you otherwise. 

So where do we go from here? Do we delete all of our editing apps and commit to letting everyone online know every bad thing that happens? Nah. But one of my goals for the rest of the year is to aim for authenticity, whatever that looks like. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even upload an unfiltered picture.