Today I woke up early, got dressed, got myself excited… and then posted on Instagram. You thought I was going to brag about the many miles that I ran, or the cool breeze I felt through my hair after the 12th mile, or the healthy breakfast I indulged in after my long run? Nope. I didn’t have the energy to run today. All I did was post a picture about a run that I had taken almost a year ago. I lied. I pretended like today was a great day.
I didn’t think anything of it until my mom commented on the picture saying how jealous she was that I had taken a new route in my run, rather than taking the routine, normal route, which she had done. And that is the double-edged sword of social media. It makes yourself look way better than you are while making your followers jealous of the life you are showing.
That isn’t what I want.
That is not the lifestyle that I want to promote; an insincere living.
There is so much pressure on social media to make your pictures and captions perfect, to use pictures that are months old as if they were taken in that instant as long as they show your glowing, happy face or life.
But you know what? Today actually was a great day. I took a long lazy day with my husband to go to Tucson Mountain Park to barbeque and have an amazing picnic. But for some reason, that wasn’t good enough, not healthy enough to post. It didn’t have enough potential for likes and comments. Instead, I posted a picture of my running. I wanted people to see me as a physically healthy person, rather than someone who in reality was taking care of her mental health and taking the day away from her phone and friends to spend the day with her husband and to reset.
Thousands of articles have been written about the dangers of social media, the dangers of the social pressure that is created from the pictures posted by our peers or celebrities. It is very easy to read those articles and then say “You’re right! I need to think about the pictures and captions that I am consuming and ask myself if I believe that they are a reality!” or “Yes, my life is great! It may not be Instagram-worthy but it is great!” but then go right back to posting about your #healthy #paleo #keto #blessed….. Chocolate chip pancakes with whip cream and a double latte.
My mom and I started this blog, our Instagram account, and our Twitter account to establish ourselves as a genuine mother-daughter small business. We wanted to show our true selves while growing our business. We wanted to show the way that we did it, and help those that are in the same boat. But you cross this line that you don’t know what is better: to grow your followers by posting what people want to see/watch, or to grow a lot slower but be true to ourselves and show our true lifestyle.
” We started this blog… to establish ourselves as a genuine mother-daughter small business. We wanted to show our true selves while growing our business.”
Even with the constant reminders of our own values and the reason behind starting these accounts, it is still easy to fall back into the habit of posting what you think people will like to see rather than the truth. So I have to admit it: I’m a liar, sometimes.
It is hard to remind yourself that slow business growth is still growth. It may not be the ideal speed or the speed that other small businesses had when they shot to stardom, but that isn’t what is important. The number of likes we get on each photo, or every retweet we get on our Twitter account brings us incredible amounts of adrenaline, but that isn’t what is really important to us. Of course we want to be liked by our peers but we also don’t want to build a business that is based on a lifestyle that we don’t actually live by.
Yes, I am a runner. My mother is also a runner. We run for cookies. We both run more so we can eat more sweets- it’s true. Most runners will tell you they run because it frees them, it gives them the energy to finish their days, it relieves their stress. All of those things are true for us too, but we also love eating cookies and we aren’t afraid to show it.
I also know that I’m not an exclusive runner, sometimes I just don’t feel like running, I never caught the “runner-only” bug. I love biking, hiking, and just a plain, hard day on the elliptical or stair-climber. And I’m good with that. I’m good with always looking for new ways to get in my cardio and weights for the day. I may train for a marathon, run it- and then not run for another six months. Similarly, I may train for a triathlon, and then afterward do nothing but the elliptical for a year. To be honest I wish I listened to my body when it came to eating compared to how much I listen to it when it comes to working out.
In the end, I have to admit that I am a liar, but a lot of us who use social media are also liars. Mostly these are innocent lies. I want people to see my best days as every day of my life. I want people to see that I’m good, I’m making it, I’m excelling. And even if I am actually excelling in reality, it never seems to be enough when I compare it to other profiles and accounts on Social Media, and that is something I need to realize and stop.
“I have to admit that I am a liar, but a lot of us who use social media are also liars. Mostly these are innocent lies.”
Mistakes are only mistakes if you don’t learn from them. So my Instagram post today will serve as a reminder, that I should never post anything or write about anything that isn’t genuinely happening or important in my life.
Have you struggled with this? Have you gotten depressed after spending time on social media and find yourself always comparing yourself to others? How do you cope with it? Let us know in the comments below.
Bye For now! Daughter/ Haley