What does a complete picture of someone’s life represented on social media look like? I’ve allowed myself to develop the habit of filling in the blanks of people’s lives with the highlights they post on Instagram, fooling myself into believing that they are hotter, richer, more successful, happier and (I think you’re getting my point) all around better than me.
To pinpoint what’s been chipping away at me the most; it’s the stark contrast between my ex-coworker sipping Aperol spritz in Positano and me sitting waiting for the bus in the never ending rain of Vancouver heading to work a Monday morning serving shift; it’s the girl I follow on Instagram who booked my dream dance job in my dream city and me struggling to afford to even audition.
I look at the best moments of other people’s lives and then I peel my eyes away from my phone and all of the ways that I don’t measure up are suddenly ten times more obvious to me. I know that life is just as much sitting in traffic, empty fridges, lonely days, greasy hair and taxes as it is graduations, travelling to the Mediterranean (fuck off, ya?), big career wins and drinks with the girls. But I’m only seeing the latter on Instagram.
Not only does this make me feel like shit about myself, but I’m also trying to grapple with my own participation in it. I also post almost exclusively things that would be considered highlights of my life on Instagram. And while I don’t feel that anybody owes the internet their worst days or the things they dislike most about themselves, I think we owe it to ourselves to pause and remember that odds are, that Insta baddie that you’re jealous of is posting that photo of herself looking Sex and the City level chic from the desk of her boring job, from the couch while ‘sweat pants, hair tied, chilling’ with no makeup on’ or from the comfort of her toilet seat.
We all hate work sometimes, we’ve all gone a few too many days without showering and we all poop. Don’t let Instagram fool you.