be authentic

We live in a world where we seek validation from strangers on the internet on whether our photos look cool enough. A photo isn’t a successful photo if it doesn’t get enough likes, nor is your status funny enough for the same reason. I’m obviously completely guilty of it, considering I base the success of my articles on the amount of likes, love reacts and shares I get. Social media — it is both a blessing and a curse.

I think a lot of us have been guilty of comparing our lives to people on instagram. The girl who seemingly has everything, gets to travel for a living and visit all the places we only dream about. The #girlboss whose feed is always én pointé, a flatlay that never goes wrong and seems to be dolling out online orders left, right and centre. The cartoonist who always has something witty to write and draw. We get lost in incredible photos, wondering why oh why does my life not look like this?

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.

The obsession with ‘aesthetically pleasing’ blogs, for me, came from tumblr. I discovered it in year 9 from a friend at school, and quickly became obsessed. People started following you if you reblogged quotes and photos from other people and then called it your own ‘blog’.

I hit a wall on my own instagram, feeling lost for creativity, hating the way it all looked together, and not knowing how to make it look better. I was comparing it to girls with thousands of followers, who filter their photos the exact same every time, and always seem to know how much to expose it and how much to contrast, making it perfectly white every. single. time. I got caught up in trying to make it look like theirs, while also throwing in my own colourful creations, always trying to keep a positive facade… Eventually losing sight of what I was really trying to do.

What I actually wanted to do was share photos, quotes and my own creations to gain followers who like seeing what I write, what I post, what I make. I lost myself in trying to be “like them”, and that’s when I started to lose my own purpose of creating on instagram.

I use it because I absolutely adore the concept of it. I hope to gain a following of people who enjoy seeing what I am doing, and essentially, the same people who I hope to be interested in reading what I have to write, investing in my own novels one day, investing in the art I make now, investing in me as a person.

The main point of it all is to stop faking your life on your instagram or your facebook. Stop trying to make it seem like you have it all. Secret’s out; not one single person on the face of this fucking earth has it all. NOT ONE. People will follow you when they know that you care about what you’re sharing; whether you’re reposting other people’s photos (and please to god tagging them so others know where it came from), whether you’re posting your own work, or photos with friends, or the cool things you do (however rare you do them).

I’m not saying you have to start complaining whenever something shit happens to you. I’m not saying you need to care when I feel like sharing that I feel like shit. But don’t post a photo with a friend that you’re actually currently pissy at, and pretend you’re the best of mates. Don’t like a photo from someone you don’t even like and then bitch about it to someone else (better yet – don’t follow them so they’re not even on your radar). Just be fucking real.

Be authentic. You won’t lose yourself along the way.

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