I’ve been stuck in a bit of a rut recently. Nothing too catastrophic, just the type of mid-twenties meltdown that calls for wedding-related telly programmes and an early night.
The voice in my head is telling me to get a grip and instead, I’m spending my time over-thinking things – mainly about what direction I’m heading in. Worse still, I think social media might be to blame. I think I’ve finally become one of those people that believes that scanning your instagram feed or logging into Facebook might actually be a bit bad for you.
I’ve always been the type of person to put pressure on myself, and I don’t think I’m the only one. Missing out on the gym for a week makes me feel weak and lazy and if I’ve spent my weekend doing little else than watching Netflix in my pyjamas, I’ll really start to beat myself up about the time I’ve wasted. I never thought I’d be the one to start coining the acronyms of women’s magazines too, but it turns out FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is actually a thing. While I’m doing the washing up or staring into space, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone out there is having a great time and documenting the entire thing on Instagram – getting married, travelling the world, bagging an amazing job at an international company. While you scroll through those little images on a screen, it can be hard to seperate the virtual world from the real one and pretty soon you begin to think you’re the only one in the world who doesn’t own their own home, brand new Fiat 500 or private desert island.
Both Instagram and Facebook have become a bit of a thing for me lately, what with so many people uploading filtered versions of their lives. I’ve done that classic thing of ‘Why not me?’, berating myself for not having worked hard enough for the things I want to achieve in life. Truth is, I’m an exceptionally lucky girl. I’m in a great relationship, have a beautiful home, good friends and family. I’m fortunate enough to work with people that think good coffee and banter are necessary to get through the day and despite the fact it resembles a rust bucket, I’m pretty proud to own my first car. These are the things that matter.
Which is why I was more than pleased to see a great instagram tag trending this week – one I could get on board with. Chelsea Fagan of The Financial Diet (a fantastic blog – go read it!) has set up ‘TotalHonestyTuesday’, a hashtag that finally demands honesty from your instagram feed. It’s a mixed bag – search the hashtag and you’ll find someone who hoards old fantasy novels, a girl buying sensible shoes, an untouched and unfiltered snapshot of a couple heading to the gym first thing in the morning. These are the parts of life that no-one shares, the small pleasures and the hard work that goes into actually living. No-one takes a picture of the mundane stuff- imagine a world where we took pictures of the rubbish dinners we’d made or visions of us in our mismatched pyjamas. Maybe if we all started posting selfies when we put the bins out or taking snapshots of our credit card bills then Instagram wouldn’t have its appeal, but we’d definitely start feeling a bit better about ourselves.
Next time I look through those tiny images, I’ll try and remember not to be so hard on myself – it’s only a filter, after all.