What springs to mind when you hear the phrase ‘Insta-life’? The perfect photo compilation of beautiful exotic locations or the mass of free goods for persuasive product promotion?
In truth, Instagram isn’t the enemy and actually it is my favourite platform to share moments, memories and art. The first line of my ‘Instagram Bio’ reads, “My Story. His Glory” which epitomises my reasons for using the app. I am sharing a story, not a life. Often we need reminding that the two are separate and this platform is simply a tool to share art and more so, to be inspired by art.
With the innate love for sharing our ‘best life’ we can easily fall into the trap of becoming consumed by likes and follows, allowing this short-lived gratification to exacerbate our insecurities and take a hold over our day to day lives. Unaware, we begin aspiring towards a fabricated, perfect version of ourselves we have constructed instead of who we were created to be.
Social Media is enabling me to live out my dream lifestyle and build a career of my own. It has also given me freedom to interpret what it means to be self-employed; to do things my own way. Truly, that is something I wake up grateful for every day. Whether exploring like-minded photographers, raising awareness against what is unjust or discovering new places, social media has inspired me to push the boundaries of my own ability and challenged me to redefine my creative limits. Over the last few years, time spent sharing images on platforms like Instagram has created countless opportunities and incredible experiences that looking back, feel almost surreal. Platforms like Instagram have made it possible to connect with people from the other side of the world, sparking a flame whereby I have found the most amazing community of friends.
I believe the success of Instagram is largely owed to the overwhelming positivity and gutsiness of online creators who have been bold enough to shape their own path using their talents. It’s an honour to be associated with those people and to be a tiny part in such a remarkable community. As a generation, our eyes have been opened to the endless possibilities that are available if we can find the means to experience them.
With that said, if we aren’t careful, social media can overtake all that’s real in our lives. The idea of quitting jobs and travelling the world is only half the reality and I find it frustrating to see people being encouraged to aspire towards something that isn’t real. Sometimes we just need a reminder of who we are, what we are doing and for what reason. That’s why I made a little check list for when I might need a reality check:
- Are you surrounded by good, honest people who are having a positive impact on your life?
- Why are you doing what you are doing? Do what you love and what you are passionate about.
- Is Instagram a platform for creativity or are you drawn into believing the ‘Insta-life’?
- Is social media an addition to your life or is it consuming your life?
To be bold and somewhat blunt, we should spend more time contemplating those questions but less time comparing ourselves to others and counting our likes and follows. You won’t find your sense of self worth in something so feeble. One of our greatest challenges on the platform is being able to separate ourselves without disconnecting. Just scrolling through Instagram I am super inspired and really enjoy sharing images and in return, positive responses but I believe we must be careful not to neglect our current life in pursuit of an ‘online persona’.
Social Media can easily become all about ourselves and our voice and our lives. It doesn’t have to be like that. We can use it as a tool to share the beauty of this world, positivity and use the influence we have to stand up for what we believe in, stand against what is unjust and share both hope and light.