Keepin’ it real: Don’t believe everything you see on Instagram

Although my life on Instagram might seem perfect to some, it certainly isn’t. I used to only post well-polished pictures with inspiring quotes as captions but then I realized, being authentic and sharing it all (the good AND the bad) was more meaningful to me. Even though, in my perspective, I still post aesthetically pleasing content, not all of it is 100% true. You see a picture, not the story behind it.

“A picture is worth more than a thousand words”, many say. But that’s not always accurate! Let’s be honest, in order to get that perfect picture, you had to take at least 50 shots, direct the photographer or even ask a stranger to take it.

Instagram is the beautifully curated version of someone’s life. You build an online image of your persona based on the filter you use, the caption you choose and the topics you cover but where’s the beauty in simplicity? Where are the struggles you go through on a daily basis? What makes you HUMAN? In order to stay sane and true to myself and my journey, I’ve learned to share more than just my favorite moments in life.

Do you think I’m out all the time eating at the hippest NYC spots or traveling around the world? Not really, I probably posted that #throwback picture while laying in my bed watching Netflix right after eating ice cream for breakfast.
That cute flatlay I posted with my organized desk hashtagged #CollegeLife #YouGotThis? You can’t imagine how anxious and stressed I felt about the possibility of failing my Computer Science class.

Those beautiful landscape pictures of NYC? Yeah, New York isn’t very glamorous, after all. I take an hour ride on the train just to get to all these cool spots in the city. I got no money to #UberEverywhere like many other bloggers claim to do.

That bikini shot where everyone commented how beautiful I was? Sometimes I wish to see myself in the eyes of those who comment and like my pictures. I’m not as confident as I might seem.

These are only a few examples… As many of us know, social media doesn’t always tell the whole story, and living a seemingly fabulous lifestyle doesn’t exempt anyone from mental health lows.

By all appearances, Aimee Song, a fashion blogger with more than 4.6 million followers, lives an enviable life but she has also opened up about her struggles with mental health and how her life is not as color de rosa as her Instagram.

 “The hardest thing about being a blogger or having my life out there is to always pretend like I’m happy — I actually don’t feel so happy,” she said in a recent vlog.

Her story, like mine, is just one in a billion. At the end of the day, only those very close to us, know our real struggles and insecurities. They know how to make us genuinely happy, unlike the instant gratification one gets after posting a “pretty” picture on the ‘gram. You might know the successes I’ve had but not the times where I’ve miserably failed after trying extremely hard.

So if you’re ever feeling low after looking at someone else’s seemingly perfect life on Instagram, just remember that’s what they WANT you to see, not their reality. Don’t ever compare where you are in life with someone else based on social media.

No matter how many followers you have, how many likes you get or simply how active you’re on social media, we’re all just trying to live our best life, on our own terms.

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