How much time do you find yourself each day strolling on Instagram? Looking at outfits, admiring pictures of hair, watching house tours and all-round winning at life photos.
Does this leave you feeling nourished? Is your need to know what’s going on in the world leave you feeling satisfied or do you come away thinking, how does that bitch have such a big house? How the hell is she affording new Fendi’s bags each week? When you are struggling to buy a new frigging face wash! I know Hun!
With over 26 million users, everyone and anyone is on Instagram! (including my dad!) and with the need to show the world what we have/what we are doing/eating/drinking and everything in between its any wonder that so many of us feel like we just don’t meet the mark.
I often go through phases where I think – ah I love Instagram (and I truly do), I don’t need to spend hours on ASOS scrolling for inspo ideas – my favourite ‘influencers’ save me that job! How else would we keep up with what Beyoncé is up to without the gram?
These are the reasons so many of us love insta. We don’t have to read Chantelle May write ‘what time does the doctors open on smith street’ like much of the other tripe we see on Facebook, we can mindlessly scroll through pretty pictures, just like Pinterest.
Much like Pinterest the world we see on the gram is all Very aesthetically pleasing, Facetuned, photoshopped, and filtered to perfection (yes that includes my own photos), but do we stop and think ‘oh I know this isn’t real life, she doesn’t look like that when I see her in Aldi’ no we get caught up in it all like a big dirty fly in a spiders web.
So how can we take control of our social media and show ourselves as much love as we give to others?
I Love to Hate Them
I’m fairly sure we are all guilty of this! Think of someone (there’s probably more than one Hun) on your Instagram who pisses you right off…I bet without a doubt you follow them more than anyone else! You watch their stories whilst calling them every name under the sun. You see their photos and you like their content, but you won’t like it cause she’s a pretentious money grabbing A-Hole (is she? Do you know her Hun?).
Why the hell are you following these people?! No one more than me is guilty of this! My close friends even have a nick name for some of the people I follow on insta because I moan about them so often, which is ridiculous. I love their style, I hate the fact they clearly don’t need to work, they get free stuff, they travel all over the world and they look like they have been going to the gym since they were about 9. This only boils down to one thing…jealousy!
Admit it! Why do you hate these people? Do you know them? Have they done you wrong or are you just pissed cause Pretty Little Thing didn’t drop 45 free parcels on your doorstep “cause they love your style’? “.
So do you keep following them and bring yourself down because you aren’t and never will be them, or do you unfollow them and stop comparing yourself to other people and spend more time on your own happiness than someone else’s? (even though Hun we all know that she does make you happy at all!)
Get your phone and unfollow all these people that bring nothing to your life! You wouldn’t eat something if it didn’t taste nice and made you feel unwell so stop feeding you mind with negativity and breakup with that bitch! (I’m sure she’s probably a really nice person really Hun!)
New outfit, hair looks good, makeup on…lets take a selfie for the gram…278331 photos later you finally pick one, facetune that spot away, add a filter and bang it on the grid. So, is this you or the best of you? Well it’s the best of you right? Wrong.
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with posting edited unnatural photos (I do it myself) because deep down the only person that says more about is our self. We want to look our best, show our best selves – just like we would if we were going on a date or a job interview.
So, for every photo you see that you think omg I love that photo, or they look so happy, they have a dream house. Don’t believe everything that you see. Now this isn’t to say that everyone lives in a false world of shitty relationships, crappy jobs and mountains of debt but a photo tells you NOTHING about someone so you need to stop over thinking exactly what you are looking at.
I was doing it myself this morning – scrolling through someone’s gram and looking at their beautiful beige living room – it’s gorgeous! Ties in perfectly with her neutral wardrobe and beachy blonde hair, for a moment I looked around and started thinking what could I do to my living room (but I don’t really have the money but I actually quiet like it but I like theirs more).
STOP! It’s only a bloody living room! Yes, it might look all expensive and new but how do we know that she isn’t 33 and has been living in her parents spare room for the past 5 years saving every penny to buy her first house? Exactly!
You see a couple on Instagram, travelling the world, out drinking cocktails every weekend then before you know it…they are getting divorced…WTF?! When did that happen? Well Hun that happened somewhere in between posting photos every other day pretending to the world that what they have is happiness babes! Let me tell you!
We need to learn to take everything with a pinch of salt and stop watering everyone else’s garden with love and look after our own. (you’re probably thinking oh god she’s here again with another stupid phrase! Yes, Hun and I make no apologies for it either!). You can’t tell on a photo if sugar is actually salt!
Post and be whoever YOU want to be!
A great example of someone being exactly who they want to be on social media is Sophia Hilton, now if you’re not in the hair or beauty industry you may not know who she is. She has 100K+ followers on Instagram but is she an ‘influencer’? does she dress head to toe in Pretty little thing and hang around in The Ivy drinking peach Bellini’s? No does she heck!
She has bright yellow hair, she wears eccentric outfits, she cries on her Instagram stories about her anxiety and she kits herself up in leather to do dominatrix burlesque dancing. (what a queen!)
So why am I talking about Sophia Hilton, well Sophia Hilton also runs one of the most successful hair salons in the UK (Not Another Salon) and is a multi-award-winning hairdresser. That doesn’t mean she only shows her professional self on Instagram because she’s worried about what people thing of her and it may affect her reputation, in fact it’s the complete opposite!
Sophia posts/writes/chats/wears whatever she wants on her Instagram even if it doesn’t fit in with the professional business CEO that she is…because again It doesn’t matter. Sophia is very social media savvy and her Insta is very branded to her business and her style, but she is still nothing but herself.
So why does she have so many followers? In my opinion because she is real, honest and beats through the bullshit! She is who she is and if you don’t like her then you unfollow her! Simple as! She doesn’t need daily features on Boohoo or I Saw It First to be influential!
So don’t get bogged down in thinking that your Instagram has to flow in a certain way, or that you need to have the same filter applied to every photo and you can only wear beige because that’s all you want to post on Instagram but you live in colour!
At the end of the day if you only do Instagram as a hobby then don’t drown in the small stuff. Be you, post about you and if you don’t get the likes…does it matter? Will it stop the world from turning? No, I don’t think so Hun!
When we refer to the likes of Facebook, snapchat, twitter or Instagram we refer to them as social media… the idea is that through these channels we can be sociable. Something that everyone is missing at the moment (cheers Corona Hun!), so let’s remember why we have these platforms.
Now we can’t control what people write unfortunately and there’s some horrible things on social media that are of no benefit to anyone but the one thing we can do is control what we want to see. So, if you don’t want to know what Laura’s amazing new home looks like because it will get you down then unfollow her.
Use social media to be social Hun, catch up with friends, laugh at your nans double chin selfies and like what you really love not what you love to hate, because negative vibes only bring you down.
So, remember not all is what it seems and that’s ok,
Get unfollowing, learn to only like what you love and spend most of your time and energy on YOU!
Thanks for reading Hun
Lauren Lily Lea xxx