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Women of Instagram : Winning on the outside, but weeping on the inside.

Like a lot of women in our generation, I wake up each morning and refresh my social media feeds to get an update on the world. Mostly it’s stuff that I don’t really need to know or about people I’m not so close to. But I find these people and their lives interesting anyway. Often I end up scrolling mindlessly, not only first thing after waking up or falling asleep but also countless times in between…. and you know what, it’s exhausting.

I used to think that checking out other people’s life stories was inspiring, but over time all this scrolling, and all this virtual traveling, has inspired a desire to take picture perfect images, and portray my life in an unrealistic way and myself as being ‘on top of my game.’ Like many others, I developed an unhealthy habit of posting about my so-called life, stealing intimate moments from my family time or vacations and sharing them with the rest of the virtual world. ‘Yeah, I too could make my ordinary life appear extraordinary.’ I thought. Striving for perfection is exhausting.

I realised that was time to flip the script when one successful glamorous mum that I follow posted about how she filters out the mess, by clearing off the kitchen counter so she can give the appearance of a more Instagram ‘likeable’ image when she snaps up her ‘perfect’ life at home. She compared her desire to be an ambitious working mum to the likes of Victoria Beckham, always on the go whilst still able to swing her daughter over her hip and conduct a business meeting at the same time. To which I thought, great ambition but why do we smart mums, in an effort to show people who we really are, end up showing people only the glamorous side of our lives and how we want to be rather than who we really are. How ironic and unauthentic. Why have we fallen prey to this comparative culture, that instead of inspiring creativity only feeds our insecurities?

In her book, The Rules of Netiquette Julia Spira coins the term ‘Social Media Anxiety Disorder,’ describing a host of symptoms, such as constantly refreshing one’s feed to check new comments. Of course, we don’t like to admit that such a habit is in fact a problem, but when you are losing sleep to mindless scrolling night after night, then life could get stressful. Recent studies reveal that women spend more time on social media than men. The average woman wastes about 24.8 hours a month on social media, while men spend about 22.9 hours online.

Women are more active on social media than men, perhaps suggesting our need for attention and approval. This love-hate relationship I have with social media reminds me that I have the choice to pull the plug and step away from my smart phone for a little while, especially when I get hooked on some beauty blogger’s page and think, maybe I too could be a successful MUA. That’s when you know, the most powerful and liberating thing you can do, is to free yourself and just be you and ‘Stay in your lane!‘ Oh and if you’re an instagramming mum, post pictures of that mess! That mess is real, it shows the world something more is happening. Let’s learn to love the mess.

 

Author: Sarona Wolter

Editor: Anne Thomas

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Date

17.07.2017 | 13:10

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