We’re all aware of the fact that social media doesn’t always necessarily give us an accurate portrayal into someone’s life. We’ve all been that person to swoon and lust after someone else’s Instagram only to be reminded by some wise Pinterest quote that we’re only seeing their highlight reel – not their every day. It doesn’t matter how many lavish holidays people post about, how many Michelin Star restaurants they’ve eaten in or how many spa breaks they have, chances are, we’re not going to see them post about the time they did their laundry or the cat was sick on their jumper.
I want to stay on the subject of “what we don’t see” because that’s what I wanted to talk about today. Because quite frankly… I’m feeling like a bit of a fraud. Don’t get me wrong, I will never be one of these bloggers who gets jetted off on luxury press trips, who has 4 holidays a month and numerous lunch dates with friends. I never go shopping because well, I hate it. I eat McDonald’s and I like reading more than going outside. I’m open about my mental health struggles and the fact that it’s caused me to lose a lot of independence and a lot of friends. In that sense, I try and keep it real as much as physically possible. I want to be someone other people can relate to and think, “sh*t, that sounds like me!”. I don’t want people to look at my perfectly curated Instagram feed (which it is not) and feel sad that they’ll never “have that”.
However, I have been known to post about my blogging achievements on Twitter quite a lot. Which is totally fine and something I’d always encourage people to do. In this industry, you’ve got to be your own biggest fan sometimes. My blog is my biggest and most proudest achievement. Never in a million years did I think I would reach an actual audience just by rambling on the internet. Or have brands like Boohoo send me something. Or actually make money because a company wants me to promote them. So if you’re proud of something, go and shout it from the rooftops is what I say!
And lately, I’ve been hitting a lot of milestones. I’ve passed 7,100 blog followers. I’ve had my best ever months for page views. I’ve also had some of my best months for income since becoming self-employed with my blog over 2 years ago. Which is all brilliant and I’m proud to be able to share those things with you. But… here’s where we get to the actual point of this awfully long and rambly post... I’m still riddled with anxiety. I’m still hauled up in my bedroom some days. I’m still terrified of being by myself. I’m still terrified of the world around me. I’m still, to put it plainly, pretty damn unhappy sometimes. I’m still comparing myself to other people (and other bloggers) on a daily basis. And I still have crippling self-doubt, low self-esteem and no self-confidence.
I may look and sound happy and chipper on Twitter when I’m cheering myself on about hitting another goal, about being super motivated and inspired with my blog and about all the dollar I’ve got rolling in (HA) but the sad reality is, I’m not always. I’m happy about achieving those goals, obviously because I’ve worked hard for them but in general, in life, I couldn’t be much different from what you see on social media and on my blog. And as I say, I like to keep it real, so that’s why I’m writing this post.
I’m writing this post for anyone who feels like they’re putting on a mask on social media because babes, we all are. Even the people who are trying to keep it real and show as much of their “normal, boring, mundane life” as possible still don’t show everything. We don’t show the hours spent crying over an argument, when we get out of the shower and rip ourselves apart in the mirror or when we’re too anxious to eat even though on social media we say we’re “so excited!!!” about wherever we’re going.
There’s no right or wrong way to “do” social media. If you want to share your deepest, darkest secrets then you absolutely can and if you want to rose-tint your life, that’s cool too. Bloggers are under so much pressure to be real but you’ve also got to have something to give, show off your talents, be inspirational, a role model, an “influencer”. How about, just for a change, we just be us? Whatever that might mean to you.