Is it just me or does it feel like the world of social media (particularly Instagram) has gone a little mad? I can’t help but miss the Sepia filters and the little border I used to give all my snaps to make it look like it came out of a polaroid camera sometimes. Perhaps I miss the time when I use to put up a picture and not look at Instagram for the rest of the day, because ‘liking’ a photo wasn’t really the done thing, you just kept a mood board of all the happy times in your life.
I can be my own worst enemy sometimes, admittedly drawn to the pretty pictures, styled out to perfection, hitting like before I’ve even read what it has to say. As I scroll through my feed I find myself more drawn to the aesthetically pleasing shots and even think sometimes ‘you really need to up your game if you’re gunna get your brand out there girl’.
However, the knock on effect this bloody app (because that’s essentially all it is) has when I come out of that head space and crack on with my ‘real life’ can at times leave me feeling ‘meh’. My kitchen corners consist of almost empty bottles of fairy liquid propped upside down because I’ve forgotten to get a new one 5 days in a row, 50,000 half empty cereal boxes on top of the fridge because I don’t have anywhere to store them neatly and a kitchen table in the corner piled high with ‘shit that needs a home’. No matter how much I try and organise it, it always ends up the same. Tell me I’m not alone here?
My wardrobe is basically a pile of clothes bundled into the bottom where my boyfriend Kev and I share the smallest wardrobe in the world, and if I find a pair of matching socks, I just KNOW I am going to win at life that day.
My clothes are mainly Primark and New Look, and the thought of spending £280 on a jumper is a distant memory of what I thought grown up life would be like in my early 20’s and my night time regime consists of using one of Freddie’s arse wipes to remove any make up I slapped on whilst singing Incy Wincy Spider that morning.
‘My heart bleeds’ I hear you say. Nothing to get the violins out for is it? And I love my life and everyone and thing in it. So why does Instagram make me seem like I’m a little ‘lower down in society’?In this new social media hierarchy. It makes me feel a bit ‘you can’t sit with us’ sometimes. Am I missing something and in reality I’m just a massive tramp (do not answer that one) or are we breeding a culture of ever growing pressure to stand out and be noticed? And how come there is so much pressure to almost be a brand in yourself nowadays?
I’ve actually met a few bloggers who take beautiful photos, and they are genuinely down to earth lovely people, they just ‘work those squares’ well and through the medium of Instastories show themselves as ‘nobodys’ like me and you. Their work often requires a great shot, and once that’s done they dick around on Instastories showing what I like to call ‘their best selves’. We see their normal and we forgive their styled shots, because we see them for what they are and we like the human behind the camera. Seeing their stories makes me feel normal, and I find myself at ease when I spy a washing pile in the corner, or some clothes chucked on the bed. They probably don’t even realise it, but it’s totally refreshing for me.
Thing is, I KNOW it’s all bullshit. We all do. Even as we take that perfectly posed photo, we know in our heads it isn’t real life, but for some reason I just feel the anti has been upped in recent months, and there’s just no keeping up…. and truth is, I don’t want to keep up.
I feel like I want to rebel, go against the grain and take photos like I used to of my life as it is. I lead a very regular life. I spend my days looking after my 4 month old, doing house jobs and running my few businesses. There is genuinely not much to report. I’m so cool with that.
The Insta world has had moments in recent months that have seen me scream ‘get me outta here’ and I can honestly say if it wasn’t for me being so passionate about spreading my message that normal is fabulous and happiness is there for us all no matter what, I would have cut and run a while ago. It’s what inspired me to do my November challenge #uninstaworthy where you take a photo of a moment that you would have captured before the squares become so prescriptive.
I can’t help but sometimes think what damage it could be doing to so many fabulous ‘nobodys’ who look on and worry their life doesn’t look at the same as all the beautiful squares that flood their feed. I sat back a few weeks ago and thought, if today were my last day on earth, what would I spend it doing? Not one answer involved taking a photo, logging on or seeing what others are doing.
Truth is, we are all the same. We are made up of the same stuff, and we all take a shit the same way, so no one person is any better than another and I think it’s the little glimmers of human we get though social media that make us feel connected to someone, help us to forgive ourselves and say in our heads ‘me too’ in the most positive way we can.
Next time you log on, be confident to be true and be you. Think Gogglebox, The Royale Family, Gavin and Stacey and all those things that make you feel normal, cosy and like you belong. Be normal in an arena of five minute fame and champion it for how brilliant it is! Here’s to the regular Joe!