I just finished reading Sophie Kinsella’s latest book, “My Not so Perfect Life.”
I have always liked reading Ms. Kinsella’s works (e.g. Undomestic Goddess, Can You Keep a Secret, The Shopaholic Series, to name a few) because the stories are light, funny, and the characters are pretty relatable. Her main characters could very well remind you of your best friend, your sister, or in most cases, yourself. A lot of times I catch myself thinking, “She’s just like me…” or “I could be her.”
My Not so Perfect Life (according to the blurb) is Part-Love Story, Part-Work Drama. One thing I found interesting, though, was how Katie, the female protagonist, portrayed her life on Instagram (living in an exciting city, doing cool stuff with marvelous friends), versus her reality — job issues, financial struggles, simple life, really small apartment.
It got me thinking… Haven’t we all, at some point in our social media obsessed lives, projected an alternate version of our reality?
(I will not spoil the book any further for the sake of my chick lit-loving friends, but it is a good and entertaining read. You won’t be sorry if you grab a copy.)
On any given day, we see something nice… or we go somewhere nice… or we think we look nice… And so we decide to take a photo — click, and then post. Then we add cute, interesting captions. We explain further by adding a number of #hashtags.
Then we wait for a hundred hearts (signifying that our follower friends liked the photo). Sometimes we feel bad when only a few people would “heart” the photo. Of course it hurts when you are not validated. (Personally, I am easy to please. I am happy with 10 likes. Anything beyond that to me is already a blessing — or a miracle.)
When you think about it, how much of our real lives is posted on Instagram? Or maybe the bettter question is… What stories do our IG accounts tell?
Out of curiosity, I checked MY Instagram account.
If a total stranger will make a story about me based on my IG photos, what will he come up with…
From the 12 latest photos I posted, one will see: My latest selfie (with me all dolled up)… My bruised knees… Dining with my BFF… More selfies… A promo of my book… A collage of old photos with my son… A throwback photo with friends circa ’90s… And still more selfies…
Basically from my IG, one will gather that 1) I have a book, 2) I have a son, 3) I was much thinner in the ’90s, and yeah 4) I am a selfie master — and I love myself so much.
My Instagram account pretty much depicts how self-absorbed I am. Yep, narcissism at its finest.
That’s my Instagrammable life. #ialwayswakeuplookinglikethis.
Alternate version or reality? 😉
When we share photos on Instagram, we allow other people to take a glimpse of our lives.
It is easy to create a perfect, always exciting version of your life. Just carefully pick the photos you will post — Choose the ones that will tell the version you want your followers to see.
I bet our Instagram stories are all exciting.
Don’t be fooled, though. Things are not always as good as they are depicted on IG. That is why it is not wise to judge — nor envy– someone, based on what you see on Instagram.
I also believe that every photo has a backstory… And often times, it’s the backstory that is truly more interesting… and real.
Example of Perception vs Reality / Alternate Version vs Backstory
#selfietime #chilling #memyselfandi
Perception created: She’s so chill… She’s so vain… She’s always made up…
Backstory (Reality): Photo was taken after four (4) hours of sitting through the College graduation rites of our helper. FOUR HOURS. But it was a momentous occasion, a celebration of someone’s educational achievement. I had to keep a smile on my face, even after four hours…
Plus I looked good that day. So, I just had to take a photo…
So, yes, maybe I am quite self-absorbed. Quite. 😉
What is your Instagram story???
photos are mine 😊