July 13, 2020

That’s Not a Life you’re Living—It’s Just an Instagram Feed.

I recently went on a trip with a few of my girlfriends.

I was pretty excited to see them after about three years, and we only had a few days together to make up for all the lost time being apart.

Our vacation started with a delightful breakfast at a cute cafe. We clicked a lot of pictures and posted a few, and I thought, Why not? We’re meeting after so long.

However, that didn’t end there. It was just the beginning of an infinite photo-flood. Thereafter, be it while dressing up, going to good-looking places, or even ordering good-looking food, the primary objective was a great picture.  

Guess what we were left with after our three-day vacation? Perfectly clicked pictures, and numerous Instagram stories and posts.

As a matter of fact, social media now has a huge role to play in each of our lives. I agree that being socially active is important to keep up with our connections and to make new connections. But at what cost? Definitely not at the cost of giving up on the real experiences.

I had so many expectations, and I was really disappointed with the way our trip went. Most of the time went into posing for pictures and uploading those pictures. We didn’t get to have a single real heart-to-heart conversation during the whole time. Faking smiles and posing in the right angles for pictures seemed to be our only motive for the trip. It started from the time we landed and continued until each of us took our flights back.

It was utterly tiring to pose for so many pictures. I eventually became so bored that I desperately waited for the three days to end so that I could get back to being a real person.

I couldn’t find my friends in them anymore. They were lost in the social media masquerade. They only seemed to be my Instagram friends now. They had spent most of the vacation time going through their feed, planning their posts, framing their stories, editing, and checking and rechecking their feed likes.

Of course, I have an Instagram account too (not very active though). It might seem to be old-school, but I don’t really care about the unreal likes on some social media platform. These moments of real life are so much more important to me.

I might not be meeting them again for a few years at least. I don’t have any great memories of the trip; we only have pictures. And seeing each picture now only reminds me of how it ruined our real moment. It was definitely not worth it.

I know most of us spend a lot of time wondering how everybody else’s life is perfect and ours is not. Their “reel” life unknowingly affects our real life. We see people having a successful career, great weddings, happy kids, travel diaries, and it makes us wonder why all of this is not happening to us.

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ~ Steve Furtick

Let me assure you, everybody has downfalls and difficulties that are off-camera, and we don’t see them. Perhaps they are looking at your pictures and wondering how everything is so perfect in your life.

All I’m trying to say is we have to decide to what extent social media should play a role in our lives and understand the cost we pay for it. We have to decide how much it’s really worth.

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