Picture Perfect on Social Media

family smiling for social media article

Images uploaded constantly on social media sites, such as facebook and Instagram, can portray lives in such a way that you may begin to believe other people actually do have perfect lives, bodies, homes, children and pets… but more and more people are beginning to own up to the truth behind their ever so immaculate pictures.

I read an article the other day about a model who uses Instagram every single day to promote herself. She has to actively think each day about what she could be doing in these pictures, what she’s wearing and how she looks. Even as a model she cannot get the perfect image on the first go and openly admitted to taking 300 photos of herself jumping in the air on a beach just to get ‘the one’ to be posted. She is wasting precious time every day of the week so she can be seen to others as ‘perfect’, yet she is just as normal as the rest of us! It makes me wonder whether she would be doing this if digital cameras hadn’t been invented – I don’t think even her wage would cover the rolls and roll of film she would need!! She also admitted to blending up a mixture of vegetables and took a photo of the green drink, claiming it was good for you and it was her way of cleansing herself – she took one sip, hated it and threw it away, but nobody saw that bit did they! One image cannot depict someone’s entire life yet many people follow her, admire and want to be like her all from viewing one image on the internet.

I can admit I am the same with facebook – bad pics of me will not be shared (unless someone I know uploads one and I can’t stop them!) I have even previously come under fire from someone who started to spread rumours that I was rich and that I bragged about my life and fun days out via facebook. She also gossiped about my house and my new car at the school gates all because she had assumed that the ‘life’ she had seen on facebook was, in fact, my entire life. It can be easy to see how a person could be perceived differently due to their online life but then am I really going to take a picture of myself getting worked up or crying or cleaning my house?… I think not. I am only going to share those happier moments, the nicer images and the best memories. 

Behind the scenes, the reality is that I have saved for my house – living with my husband’s parents to do so. I have worked from the age of 16, I have taken years to save up to be able to decorate my house and buy my furniture. I didn’t want a new car but we had to get one due to the old one going wrong – it was an item we couldn’t really afford but needs must. As for the days out, I have 2 annual passes for local attractions which I purchased with birthday and Christmas money. I never upload anything to brag, it is not in my nature, but I see it as a lovely way to share the best times with my friends and family, especially those who live in other countries. Maybe social media can be more damaging than we realise and feel that we know somebody through a computer instead of getting to know them properly in person? Are we creating a new way to instil jealousy amongst each other? What will be the future if we continue to be so negative?

My sister is a pole instructor and often posts images of herself in awkward positions which look impossible to us normal folk! She posted one the other day of herself in this pose:

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Looks impressive, doesn’t it?! This is what she wrote:

‘Some pictures can be misleading, always try and think what went into that picture? How long has it taken? Don’t believe that person did that on the first attempt. People post the best of their lives on social media. It drives me but some people it can feel like u aren’t ever gonna get there, but don’t forget about the sacrifices and training they would’ve put in even if it does look amazing u didn‘t see the fails!! For example, this picture I fell out of moments after but the pic I have captured looks like I’m fine and I could sleep in this position!
Point being don’t compare yourself to others because sometimes u only see what people want u to see!!! Believe in yourself and don’t let yourself be brought down be proud of who u r and what u have and will achieve xx’

 

Well said, I thought and very encouraging to her followers. It’s refreshing to see somebody admit the hard work, the many hours and the training that has to go into something like this. Too many people assume that you can learn, change or become amazing overnight!

As for my lovely picture for my article on a local parenting site… well here is the final image we submitted:

family smiling

A tripod, two-year-old and self-timer does not mix! This was our fifth or sixth attempt I believe?

 

This is what happens when you set the timer and run but knock the table:

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OR when a two-year-old has had enough! Just look at that face:

 

No one has the ‘perfect’ life, we are all muddling through, trying our best and working hard. Do not believe every picture for there is always a story behind it and please be happy for one another not envious, it’s not an attractive trait.

 

Em xx

 

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