A Dose of Reality: The Behind the Scenes Stories

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I'm a huge fan of technology. I love blogging and Twitter and Instagram and every other social media site as much as the next person, but the more time I've invested in blogging and sharing a little piece of my life on the internet, the more I've realized how easy it is to stretch the truth. 

I think it's a natural tendency to want to share your highlights; the best parts of your life. Let's be honest, people don't follow you on Instagram to see mundane pictures. People like exotic and painfully perfect. That being said, I was talking with my mom about this the other day, and we both agreed that hearing about the low points and imperfections in someone's life helps make them more human and more genuine. 

So today, I'm getting real. This blog post is 100% unedited. The pictures, words and thoughts are unedited. Every word written or picture shown will be completely raw, completely real.

Let's look at my Instagram:

My life on Instagram looks very adventurous and full of happiness. First and foremost, that's totally the truth. My life is adventurous and full of happiness, but lately it's also been full of a lot of late night studying and cramming for finals and incessant tiredness. When I stop and post, I am happy with my life, and I am loving what I'm doing, but stress rarely translates into an Instagram post. Also, Instagram only captures a square picture of my current situation, and trust me, there's a lot that goes on outside of the square. 

This is a picture of some flowers I bought my mom. The background is a desk in my room. I legitimately stood on a chair to take this picture, and Instagram cropping cut out a pile of clean laundry that I've yet to put away for the last week. Not as glamorous as it looks, huh? (Side note: This picture does have a filter on it, but I can't find the original file, so I'm using a screenshot from Instagram.)

I posted this on Instagram with the caption "Look up". If I'd expanded on that thought, I would've written, "I left school early today because I got really sick during lunch, and I pulled over to take this picture because I thought the sky looked really pretty. The sky was so blue, and I thought this looked so beautiful, but I also felt like I was going to die at the young age of 18 and posted this once I was home and in bed and reevaluating my existence." 

There really isn't much to lie about this picture. I posted this a while back, and it's my mom in her classroom, and she looks really happy. What the picture doesn't tell you is that it was a Monday. We were both kind of at our wits ends, and I randomly decided to take a picture of her. I think the important thing is that she was really tired and run down, but she still smiled this genuine smile for me. Everything seemed out of control, yet she still found it in her to smile.

Let's look at some failures:

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not calling you or me a liar on social media, but we rarely really publicize our failures. So, here's a few of mine.

Sometimes you're having a photoshoot with banana bread (please note that the background is a mattress cover), and you're cat gets very curious.

Some days you don't want to be adventurous or the person who seizes the day and conquers the world. Sometimes just getting out of bed is a huge achievement and victory. Some days the only productive thing you might do is breath and get out of bed, and that's okay.

Sometimes you'll decide to be artistic and try to take pictures of your art. Halfway through this mini photoshoot, you'll have to stop your cat from drinking paint water. It happens.

Sometimes your adventure pictures come out blurry. We were climbing a mountain, and somehow my mom took only blurry pictures of me on this rock (trust me, there's like 12 different and equally blurry pictures). At first I was really disappointed, but now they're some of my favorite pictures despite the blurriness.

So, the moral of this blog post isn't some call-out post with the intention of shaming people. I'm just trying to convey the idea that I may mislead people at times to think that my life is perfect, and it's not. A picture can be worth a thousand words, but sometimes none of these words encompass what's truly going on. People are so much more than what they post on social media. Our lives are rarely as perfect as they seem on social media, and I think that's more than okay.

My life (and your life) isn't about perfectly arranged meals and perfectly edited pictures and perfectly posed people in perfectly fashionable clothes. It's about all those imperfect moments that we don't talk about. It's those moments that are unfiltered and completely real.

It's okay to love posting on Instagram and Twitter and every other website on earth, but don't forget that living an unedited life can be extremely underrated. 

“You’re a beautiful combination of stardust and ocean waves, 
you are human and it’s okay to mess up.”

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4 Happy Thoughts

  1. I love this post! And I especially love this line when it comes to social media: "A picture can be worth a thousand words, but sometimes none of these words encompass what's truly going on." It's so easy to scroll through Instagram/FB/etc. playing the comparison game and think that all of these other people are rocking at life while we're not...but no one has it all together :)

  2. It is interesting to think of all the "cropping" that happens when we share on social media or even with acquaintances that you happen to run into around town. There is always a behind-the-scenes story! Good post. :)

  3. Absolutely, yes, yes, yes. It is so true that there are so many things "behind the scenes" that are not glamorous AT ALL, but those things don't make it to the public sphere. It's important to remember that we're not always waking up like Beyonce (including Beyonce herself), and that beauty can actually be found in the raw and unedited.
    You're amazing ♥


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