“Comparison is the thief of joy” Teddy Roosevelt
Hands up who has seen something on Pinterest and tried to recreate it, failing miserably. Then you question your self-worth and talents and evaluate the cost of all the materials you bought to make this one wonderful idea for your art project.
Who has seen someone you barely know, or perhaps don’t even know on Instagram and thought I wish I was them. They have it all together. They live an awesome life.
What about a former school friend or that person you were once in a uni seminar with that added you on Facebook and you’ve not quite gotten round to delete because they are always doing interesting things, share lots of photos from a holiday of a lifetime and think why is that not me.
Now, look at the flip side…
Hands up who has ever used all the filters on Instagram to post a photo that took 15 attempts to get quite right but still your gray hair and dodgy spots are still showing. You’ve written and deleted a post 10 times till you get the wording right. You exaggerated the truth to get the likes up.
Hands up if you can name any of the Instagram filters.
Hands up if you have a favorite.
FYI My favorite is Gingham with a touch of a vignette. Or you put it in black and white but you add a little bit of color back in!
You might not even filter your photos, it may be your posts. I often find myself reaching a moment in my life, or even worse preemptively thinking about an upcoming event and thinking do I Snapchat or Instagram this? Do I share my funny thought on Twitter or Facebook? Because you don’t want to be that person that shares their life on more than one social media platform. That’s just too much. I accidentally after a few bottles of wine managed to add all my Facebook contacts on Instagram and lived to regret it. Then I thought why did I regret that? Why do I filter out my friends, we are either friends or we’re not.
Social media is wonderful, it’s brilliant at keeping in touch, engaging in discussion and debate, sharing funny moments, making plans gaining an insight into the world. For example, I love getting Snapchats from my brother and nephew. Or sharing silly in-jokes or memories with my uni mates on Facebook. Twitter is great for sharing teaching resources and ideas. Or getting in touch with other bloggers. Instagram is a good way to see nice photos of people or bullet journal ideas. Pinterest is brilliant for recipes, blog ideas or wishful thinking.
There’s the flip side of this as well. Snapchat is a tool of cyberbullying and children sending nudes to each other. (I am a teacher so put up with this on a daily basis) Facebook is full of the “Some people…” “PM me Babes” sort of passive aggressive status’. Twitter is full of one person making a passing comment and everyone and their uncle jumping on the bandwagon. As for Instagram, the amount of times I have heard about couples arguing because one person has liked someone else’s photo on Instagram. Pinterest is just unrealistic expectations on life.
Social Media has good and bad sides. As with everything in life. Good in Moderation.
What we need to always have at the back of our minds is this is not real life, this is filtered. The pictures are filtered, the content is filtered. People choose what to post, how to post and who to share it with. For example, I have two separate Instagram pages, one to go along with my blogs (Juniper Daze if you fancy a follow!) and my own personal one.
The reason being that I try to limit, or filter out you may say, pictures of myself, friends and family. Mainly focusing on what is happening in my life. I do have a practical reason for this, I am a teacher and so I have to be careful about how much of my private life is ‘out there’. We did have an issue last year where some pupils got quite obsessed with my really interesting life they started looking through mine and my family members Facebook pages to the point I think they thought they were part of the family.
So because I do have 2 Instagram pages, I do double filter. On my blog Instagram, I like to post inspirational pictures, I blog and post about going on dates with my husband and how creative I am. On my personal Instagram, I share maybe the more realistic me; like cooking super noodles for tea for our first meal as a married couple or my failed selfie attempts with the cat. As brilliant as these posts are I don’t want the whole public knowing – just those I’ve approved on Instagram.
I was thinking about this as I read the book In Twenty Years Time by Alison Winn Scotch.
This was one of the free Amazon Kindle deals. I never normally have high hopes for these books but this one is worth a read. It was about a reunion of college roommates and how they all seem to have different perspectives of each other and in reality, things aren’t going so swimmingly. We never really know a person based entirely on their social media. People are brilliant at filtering, putting on a front and vignetting the parts of their life they don’t want people to see.
5 Rules of Social Media
Don’t covet thy neighbors Instagram or Pinterest Life.
Don’t judge a person by their Facebook status.
Don’t write veiled passive aggressive posts on Facebook.
Don’t send naked pictures of yourself.
Never hashtag on Facebook.