Good morning and happy Wednesday. Yesterday I felt slightly uninspired to post a blog and my sister came into town for lunch and pedicures (she is 33 weeks pregnant, so it was perfect for her to take a half day to kick up her feet). As I never want to post just to post, I waited until today 🙂
Yesterday morning during breakfast I came across this article: http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/2015/11/02/instagram-model-practices-transparency-reveals-the-truth-behind-social-media/
Essena O’Neill became fed up with how social media was controlling her life and she decided to make a change, in a very big way. She is a model and was paid to endorse various brands on Instagram (aka wear their bikinis or dresses in her pictures). Essena started to live for validation in the form or likes and followers. Even though she had half a million, it never felt like enough.
She decided to delete thousands of pictures and changed the captions of the remaining ones to be transparent about what it actually took to get the shot. Essena is calling for change even renaming her account to “Social Media is not Real Life” and starting a website entitled Let’s Be Game Changers.
Such a bold move from a young women who has made a career from the powers of social media. I think she exposes an important message about what it takes some of our favorite Instagrammers to get their amazing pictures.
Although our situations may not be as extreme, I thought it was an important reminder for all of us. Social media is even a subject my church touches on because it has become such a big part of our worlds. Here is some food for thought:
- How often are we logging on? Better yet, how often are we unplugging and not checking our social media? I’m sure this is an area that MANY of us could improve on. Perhaps schedule yourself a break whether it be a weekend or a week.
- Are you getting validation from other people “liking” or “following” us? Honestly when I started this blog, I began to think about this. In one of my TuesdaysTogether meetings a social media “expert” talked to us about how to build likes and followers. She suggested posting once per day and talked about what hashtags to use, how to edit your pictures (think about color scheme, filters, etc.), and time of day to post. I figured out quickly there was no way I could post every single day. Sometimes my days are working a 13 hour shift, going straight to bed, and then waking up to go back to another shift…nothing Instagram worthy. It also didn’t feel authentic to me to constantly think about what my next Instagram would be and if it fit my color scheme (that I didn’t yet have). Although her suggestions would have probably helped blossom my Instagram and blog faster, I had to make a decision that it just didn’t inspire me to constantly think along those lines. Are you doing things just to get an Instagram? Or taking 20 pictures of your coffee and brunch just to post it? I once read an interview by Gal Meets Glam’s husband and he said his rule for her is that if she cannot get the picture in 3 shots it isn’t meant to be.
- Are we comparing ourselves to others in a negative way? This might not even be “perfect” fashion bloggers or celebrities for you, but your own friends. One of my close friends said she stopped following a lot of fashion bloggers because it would make her feel down about her own life. They are constantly in beautiful clothes, eating amazing looking food while staying very thin, and traveling to exotic places. Just as the article above suggests, it might not be as swoon worthy as it looks.
- Are we filtering our pictures and lives to look perfect? This is a topic one of the pastors at my church talked about. Social media allows us to filter our lives in a way where we can choose to only show the positives and look like the happiest people in the world. Do you only post about your husband when he brings you flowers or takes you on a date night? Are you taking 30 pictures to post 1? Are you filtering your picture in 3 different apps before you post it? My husband has always thought filters were ridiculous. A couple months ago I stopped using them for about 90% of pictures. I do change the brightness, contrast, and/or exposure on the original picture, but make a conscious effort not to filter it. I’m confident and happy to be me, unfiltered 🙂
As I said in the last blog post, these are great reminders for myself too. I’m right there with you reflecting about how I can improve and definitely about how to unplug more. Maybe I should pick a day each week that I don’t check it?! I’ll start with Saturday this weekend.
Have a great day! -Ames