Friday, April 12, 2013

For What It's Worth: Instragram's Envy Effect

I want to start a new series here that I'm calling FWIW (for what it's worth). Apparently I'm in an acronym mood this week.

FWIW will be a chance for me to ramble on about something fairly irrelevant to this blog that may or may not interest you... sound good? (don't worry - I'll try to keep these to a minimum).

An article from Relevant Magazine has been circulating and it's really struck a chord with me. It's called, Instagram's Envy Effect, and is about the danger of the internet allowing you to only tell partial truths about your life. It's so easy to perfectly curate the image you want people to see. But the problem is - it's not always real.  For the majority of us, the majority of our day passes in relative normalcy.  Just day-to-day humanness. But instead of believing that, it's easy to become envious and jealous - and believe the lie that other people really are perfect and really do it have it all together.

I love this quote from the article,
It makes sense, then, that anyone else’s fun or beauty or sparkle gets under our skin. It magnifies our own dissatisfaction with that moment. When you’re waiting for your coffee to brew, the majority of your friends probably aren’t doing anything any more special.
But it only takes one friend at the Eiffel Tower to make you feel like a loser.
 The author takes on Instagram as a main culprit, but personally, I've experienced this more through blogs. The blogger walks a fine line in her writing because there are certain things you do need to keep private. It's not appropriate to air your "dirty laundry" out on the internet and people don't read blogs just to hear the ho-hum details of an average life.  But at the same time, I've read blogs where it seems like the blogger's life is just one big romantic, adventurous vacation.

 I sit down at the computer and read about these bloggers who go to destination races every weekend, or create earth-shattering healthy recipes or photograph amazing beach sunsets. And then there's me.  Plodding out my same ol' round the block runs, in my stinky, stretched out sports bra and t shirt. When I compare my actual, private life to the public "life" other bloggers maintain it's easy to get down on myself as a loser. Ultimately I need to remember,
that life isn’t about the story you tell about yourself on the Internet. It’s about a million more beautiful and complex things than that, like love and faith and really listening. It’s about using what you’ve been given to craft a life of gratitude and passion and grace.
Remember that the very best things in life can’t be captured in status updates.
 Or in the blogging world, "the very best things in life can't be captured in clever, well-written posts."

We all have our moments of PR highs, exciting adventures and successes in the kitchen. I just need to focus on contentment in those in-between times, and instead of being jealous of other people's highs, rejoice with them, because they too aren't perfect either.

Just my thoughts, FWIW.

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