Someone texted me the other day and told me they were so happy to see me “thriving on Instagram.” I was flattered, but something did not sit right with me. While my social media would never show it, the past couple weeks have been tough for me. As a matter of fact, I can look at various pictures on my Instagram and remember I was having a particularly rough day when they were taken. No one would ever know because there I am, cheesing hard and “thriving.” I’ve always preached being my authentic self but I can’t help but feel fake for looking like Miss Sunshine on my Instagram, when in reality, I am more introverted, more emotional, and more serious
I have struggled to find the line between faking an online identity and not oversharing on social media. We, as a society have taught each other what is appropriate to share. We post the picture of the meal we make and don’t mention the ones we skipped. We post pictures post-workout but don’t talk about how hard it was to make it to the gym. We post pictures looking happy and confident on days we feel the least comfortable in ourselves. The truth is, it is hard to share your authentic self on Instagram and be completely transparent. Your online persona probably contrasts with your real-life personality most days, and that’s okay. What is important is remembering, Instagram is only a highlight reel of someone’s life. Though it may seem like everyone else is happier than you and has their shit together, they are just posting what we have been taught is appropriate to post. The lows still exist. They’re just harder to share.