My Instagrammable Life

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.)

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Ahh, Instagram.

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?

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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…

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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? 😉

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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.

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Example of Perception vs Reality / Alternate Version vs Backstory

latest selfie

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#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. 😉

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What is your Instagram story???

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photos are mine 😊

Love thyself

tiffany

Elsa Peretti Open Heart ring in 18k rose gold

Every once in a while, I submit write ups to the Brew Your Best Year webpage of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Last night they posted my latest contribution. 

I wrote this piece in time for Valentine’s month. Nothing mushy or sentimental, though it talks about an experience that had something to do with my heartYou may read about it here: Matters of the Heart.

It’s the first of two parts, actually. The second part should be mushier… though as of the moment, the whole story is still just in my head. Hopefully I get to write it soon. 🙂

Hope you’ll  learn something from this one… ❤

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Photo of Elsa Peretti Open Heart ring from Tiffany & Co. website, Elsa Peretti collection. *No connection to the write up, but thought of using it because it’s just so pretty — and what girl doesn’t like ogling Tiffany jewelry? I believe it’s good for the heart. ❤ 

 

Keeping Up with Caffrey

What are you watching??

Watching tv has been a rare luxury.

However, there was a time months ago — and I mean many months ago — when I still got to watch tv in the mornings, after my son has gone to school and my husband to work.  Since the malls and banks were still closed and it was still quite early to run 1001 mommy errands,  I had a few hours to spare lounging in front of our tv to catch up on the shows that aired.

Sometimes I get to watch a nice movie on HBO or Star Movies… there were a few times I got to catch reruns of shows I used to like (ie., Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds). But MOST of the time I end up watching a show that revolves around the seemingly normal lives of people who are far from being normal… For some reason I end up keeping up with the Kardashians.  And proud of it, I am truly not.

can you keep up?

Reality tv shows can be addictive.  I think there’s a need in each of us to feel like we are no different from any celebrity.  I know some people derive self- worth from that.  I mean, Kim Kardashian does normal things, things that I do in my everyday life — like sleep (though she wakes up fully made up.  Oh well, I can do that, too).  Kim K also eats, goes to the bathroom, gets pimples, complains about her hips and butt (they actually had an episode where she had a butt xray!).

Watching reality shows somehow gives one the feeling that he or she is no different from any celebrity.  There’s that “I may not be famous but I breathe the same air as the Kardashians” feeling.  That and the realization that these celebrities are people, too, and are equally flawed as each of us.  Somehow it makes one think that these actors and actresses are not way up there… that they can be normal. Yeah, save for the fact that they are a gazillion dollars richer, they are really no different from you and me.

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This is basically why I don’t really watch tv much.  I get too involved.  I overthink.  My husband keeps reminding me, “It’s JUST a show.”  But sometimes I just can’t help but analyze the episodes — reality shows or not.  I even write down and memorize some lines that I think are really nice or sounded witty (might be useful someday…)

Thing is, as I go through my everyday life, I know for a fact that there is no script somewhere that I have to follow.  I know that I have to make decisions, I have to make choices, all on my own.  I don’t always have the luxury of consulting someone when faced with a situation.  I don’t have to perform in front of an audience… though I  know there are times when I have to.

TV watching is a form of escape from reality.  It is supposed to entertain.  In every essence, that’s really just what it is supposed to do.  You don’t find answers to your problems by channeling Kim K.  Somehow her fashion sense and her high pitched voice won’t help you solve real life problems.

Other people think that watching tv is purely just a waste of time.

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I still like to be entertained, though.  I still savor that one to two hours of tv time that I can squeeze in my sked every now and then.  I still overanalyze some shows and some characters.  But I also know when I’m getting too far involved.

I stopped watching the Kardashians when I realized that I was beginning to sound like Kim K when I talked. Eeew.

*swoon*

Lately I catch myself looking forward to reruns of White Collar.  I have spent the past three mornings on my couch, in front of the tv, staring at the dreamy face of Neal Caffrey.  No overanalyzing here, though.  Sometimes I don’t even listen to the dialogues.

I just enjoy looking at Matt Bomer.  He somehow reminds me that there is beauty in this world.  Enough said.

did i say i’m smitten?

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photos via google images