When scrolling through your Instagram you’d be forgiven for presuming most people you follow have their lives together. In fact, you might even start to believe they are living the perfect life, while you just scroll through your feed waiting for that perfect life.
Let’s be real for a minute, shall we. No-one has an Instagram worthy life every second of every day. No matter how perfect someone’s life seems on Instagram there will be days when they spill coffee on their perfect white counter-tops, when the dog tracks mud through the house, or when the car keys are mysteriously not where they’d sworn they’d left them! We are all human, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ life.
We all post the highlights of our lives because those are the bits we want to share, the bits we think people will care about. Our photos are curated and filtered and detached from the moment, and sure it shows our real life, but only a snapshot of it. My feed might make it look like I can handstand, like I have a perfect yoga practice, like I eat healthily 24/7. This is not true. I can barely hold a handstand, my yoga practice ebbs and flows, and I definitely eat more chocolate than I admit on social media (who doesn’t aha). I don’t think there is anything wrong with posting the perfect parts of your life on Instagram. It is a visual platform and therefore there is an intrinsic psychology that our posts need to be visually pleasing and perfect. It is human nature to want to share our perfect parts.
I said I couldn't hold a handstand! One perfect shot is so deceptive...in reality there are outtakes that you never see. Life isn't as perfect as that one Instagram shot, there are always outtakes and that is okay.
The problem starts when we start striving for constant perfection in our lives and comparing our entire lives to the perfect snapshots of other’s lives we see on our feeds. We can live perfect lives on Instagram but we need to have a fulfilling life in real life too. Oprah said, “Seek to be whole, not perfect”, and this is something that we really should try to remember when we are deep in the depths of an Instagram scrolling session. Our lives are not measured in how many perfect posts we share on Instagram, instead our lives are measured in moments of joy, happiness, and the memories we make. Some of these may be picture perfect, others may not. Many of us have fond memories of a day where plans went awry but despite not being picture perfect these days turned into beautiful memories.
"Seek to be whole, not perfect" - Oprah
And before you think that I am slating Instagram, think again, I love it. I am such a fan. I post to share stories, quotes, yoga tips, recipes I made, anything really. But I also love to read other people’s posts. Instagram is a fantastic source of knowledge, inspiration and positivity if you follow the right people and have the right perspective.
I am also aware that some people really struggle with Instagram because it can bring about feelings of inadequacy, lack of fulfilment and a plethora of other things. I fully accept that social media has positive and negative sides. To help us to see the positive side and to enjoy all that Instagram has to offer we must remember someone’s perfect post is a snapshot of their day. We see a snippet of a day and presume they have a perfect life.
Don’t live for Instagram, live for you.
Instagram and social media aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, therefore we need to remember that we should be looking to make our lives whole and forgetting about perfection altogether. Definitely easier said than done! Post your perfection if you want, post your imperfection if you want, after all it is your feed. BUT, strive to make your life whole not perfect. Don’t live for Instagram, live for you.