The Reality Of What You See On Instagram Vs. What Really Happened

We live in a time where social media matters. If you say that it doesn’t, you’d be lying. It might not make you who you are or change your life in some incredible way, but odds are, you log on at least three (million) times a day. When we’re not around our actual friends, we’re looking at their lives through the lens or taking our own pictures to post. It’s a blessing and a curse.

You’ve probably already heard all the downside to being on social media, so I’ll give the Reader’s Digest version. It’s terrible. It’s not real. It causes FOMO (and a bunch of other actual mental diseases). Get off your phone and go live your life. Blah blah blah.

I’m here to challenge all of that. Yes, I realize that what happens on social media are the highlights and it should be taken with a grain of salt. But I also believe that taking that picture and posting it to your timeline does a world of good. Selfies are good for the soul, people. It’s therapeutic really.

Personally, I take a lot of pride in my Instagram feed. I will admit that I spend a good amount of time thinking about what I post and getting a good shot. But it’s something I love to do. Making our Instagram feeds look pretty is the millennial equivalent of setting up our MySpaces. It’s fun and it brings us joy.

While some people might say it’s artificial joy, it isn’t. At least not for me. It doesn’t matter to me if I get one like or one million. It’s the process of putting it together that makes me happy. So, without further ado, here’s what really happened behind the selfie — the good, the bad, and the embarrassing. Because I am a real person and social media sometimes saves me. Other times it makes me look like an idiot in public.

1. The Lipstick Selfie

It’s fall, y’all 🍁🍃🍂

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What you see: A monochromatic outfit, from the glasses to the lips, of a girl that obvious is feeling herself at the moment.

What really happened: I had anxiety off the charts that day. It was a rough day at work and I still had a million things to finish. To make myself feel better, I threw some lipstick on and smiled. It made me feel better, so I shared it with all of my virtual friends. When I said selfies were good for the soul, I wasn’t lying.

2. Books In The Bath

Books in the bath make me a happy girl.

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What you see: An artistically posed picture of someone who’s about to indulge in a relaxing night.

What really happened: This is a library book. Shortly after this, it took a tumble into the water. Not only did I not get any reading done, but I also got an unnecessarily large fine.

3. Basic Food Shot

The sushi isn't nasty, but this woman is.

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What you see: Someone about to dive into a colorful platter of sushi. I’m hungry just looking at it.

What really happened: I was out with a friend, so I probably should have been conversing and not trying to get the perfect Instagram shot. Thank goodness sushi doesn’t get cold, because I took too much time taking pictures. Also, I’m right handed, but my bracelet was on my left.

4. Half Hidden Face

My happy place ✨

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What you see: Just your typical basic bitch getting some reading done.

What really happened: My boyfriend’s little sister took this picture in the middle of Barnes and Noble. It took us about twenty shots to get it right and we were definitely in everyone’s way. I was not reading, but I did buy the book.

5. Cutesy Couple Pic

2017💫

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What you see: Pure love. Just a girl cuddling with her boyfriend.

What really happened: This was New Year’s Eve. I was too drunk to get his head in the picture and, to be honest, I don’t even remember taking this.

Bottom line: no one is perfect. We are all real people behind the staged selfies. While some people want to hate on social media for all the harm it brings, I’d rather celebrate all the moments – in front of and behind the camera. So keep on keepin’ on, and don’t be afraid to stop and take the selfie.

Featured Image via the author.

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