Caroline has been asking for a phone for as long as I can remember. And for Instagram for about a year now. We are holding firm for a bit longer and this weekend, a New York Times article gave me a bit of back-up. The cover story in my favorite Sunday Styles section was The Agony of Instagram by Alex Williams. The article sites example after example of super successful and creative people who feel great about their lives until they check their Instagram feeds. I love the phrase Williams uses when he says that users “feel suffocated by fabulousness.”
We have all been here both with Instagram and Facebook. Recently, for example, I jokingly asked a friend to please just once post pictures of her children arguing instead of having an amazing time with their huge family surrounded by well, ‘fabulousness.’ In truth, though, I don’t know anyone who posts anything other than this ‘fabulousness’. Who, after all, likes calling attention to the drab, to the boring, to the less than perfect?
After reading The Agony of Instagram, I looked back on my own Instagram feed which I thought might not be all that fabulous. We don’t after all, eat at five star restaurants or take exotic vacations. But… my feed in a similar way does not tell the whole story.
By way of example…
The picture of the NYC skyline that I could see while taking a walk with a friend? Lovely picture. Amazing view. True. But after the walk through a very hilly part of our town, my shins were so sore that I couldn’t work out for days. I did not post any pictures of that.
The picture of Katherine at Wicked? So perfect. And such an amazing day in the city. Except all that is the story of what happened after the epic temper tantrum caused by too little food and too much noise. No pictures of that either.
A beautiful picture of our first accumulating snow? True. But I also had to cancel plans that I was really looking forward to because the roads were sort of sketchy. I didn’t post any pictures of me crossing fun things off my calendar.
And the adorable cat snuggled with Katherine? He’s cute. But he’s also nuts and loosing bladder control. We have thrown away at least four pillows in the last few months seeing as he prefers to pee on pillows these days. I chose not to create a collage of the pillows we have lost to feline urine.
So there you have it. With all the fabulousness comes some things that are slightly less than. I choose to believe that there are stories behind nearly all the pictures that we see on social media.
Anyone else want to share?