Unattainably clean homes, perfect flatlays, and family photoshoots with children in matching clothes have taken over social media these days. If you’re anything like me, these photos make you feel like you’re not measuring up. If my home is messy or my mood is bad, I feel like I am failing. And, frankly, I’ve gotten to the point where I am sick of it. I am tired of feeling less than because my son has an Autism meltdown and our plans are derailed or my perfectly clean home is messy in ten minutes or because I need a big chunk of alone time. Aspiring to perfection is a ridiculously impossible ideal.
So, over on Instagram, I encouraged everyone to use the hashtag #reallifetoday to share what is going on in their world without filter or cleaning up messes. The response was amazing. It was so much fun to see people sharing real life, not posed photos in the perfect lighting with filters.
We’ve gotten to the point where people can’t tell the different between a filtered photo and a real, authentic one. No one has perfect skin or flawless hair all the time. Remember the days of people editing their thigh gap? Well, now we don’t even know to know how to edit; we can just pop on a filter and call it a day.
But, sadly, we are also filtering our lives. We are only sharing the good, the pretty, the “inspiring.” When, in all honestly, I would find it much more inspirational to hear how someone is fighting a current battle, not just the end result. We show before and afters, but we don’t always share in the inbetweens. And we are in the inbetween more than anywhere else.
I encourage you to share your inbetweens, your messes, your reality. I think if we all were to share the reality of our lives, we wouldn’t feel so isolated from one another. If your reality is that perfectly decorated home, more power to you. If you home was clean about five minutes ago but now it looks like a hurricane hit, I feel you. I’ve been in both places. If we are sharing online, let’s share it all: the good, the bad, and the inbetween.
One thought on “Authenticity on Social Media”
I completely agree with you. The situation is a serious one because it’s causing unnecessary stress, depression and even despair when your life is a constant roller coaster and everywhere you look is another “false perfection”. I stopped using almost everything because of this. It hurts to feel alone and not be able to be authentic because people don’t always want to see or hear the hard stuff. So I say BRAVO to you, Michelle! God bless you for being brave and calling attention to this cycle of false reality. I’ve been a long time subscriber of yours on YouTube and you helped me immensely get my first homeschooling year on track back when I started on the journey to help my daughter who struggled with learning issues. My handle is @sillydaffydilly. We have had twin lives in many ways and that’s why I stuck with you even though I stopped watching all but two people. Your authenticity helped me in many ways. I hope that things will get better for you and your beautiful family. I pray daily for all of you because I really do know what it’s like to walk in your shoes. Take care, my friend.