Instagram vs Reality

Today we caught up with a friend for coffee and she said; “I have wondered if you always get nice photos of Everly at brunch because she’s incredibly well behaved… but I see now that she’s not.”

😂😂😂 After I got over being mildly offended, (was she saying my child wasn’t perfect??) it made me think about how often you see other people’s feeds and think they’ve got their shit together… when in reality it’s just a normal person choosing to share the nice parts of their life with you.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

So, what are some things to remember when you’re looking at Instagram feeds?

To start with, feeds are generally ‘curated’; planned ahead, often with edited photos using a preset for a consistent look, or ‘real’; a day to day look at someone’s life with candid, realistic photos. Of course there are MAAAANY other categories in between, but very basically it boils down to these two. Neither is better, worse, fake, or less important than the other, they’re just DIFFERENT. They might appeal to different people or they might appeal to the same people but in different ways.

As an example, we’ll look at my own feed (curated) and a good friend Elisha’s (real)

Elisha’s feed is a peek into her life with her gorgeous toddler, Billie, her partner, Jimmy, and the activities they do, clothes they wear, milestones they’re celebrating… anything and everything is there!

You’ll see pics of Billie on the swings at the park next to a pic of a cake they made that morning. Dress up days at kindy and puppy dog filters on photos. It’s ADORABLE, warm, real and it makes you feel as though you’re living their day to day life with them.

I get inspiration from Elisha’s feed for almost every aspect of my parenting journey, from play ideas to recipes to toddler clothes and homewares. And I get just as much enjoyment from her Instagram feed as I do from curated accounts that I follow.

While I do also share real parts of our life, my feed is most definitely curated. Not a lot of it is shared in real time- generally the things you’re seeing have happened a few days previously. This is so I can arrange my photos in a way that the colours and images meld together to create one long ‘flow’ when you scroll through the feed. (I also use presets when editing, so the colour scheme stays relatively similar from one picture to the next).

My reason for having a curated feed?

Firstly, I enjoy it. (This is important!)

Secondly, I have the time to do it.

And thirdly, when Everly is being a ratbag, when I’m tired, when we’ve had four wake ups through the night, when she’s refusing to eat anything other than yoghurt… the last thing I want to do is take a photo. We have crappy days where I don’t get out of my pjs, we relax, have a nap, cuddle and do whatever it is that will get us through the day. And those photos just wouldn’t fit as seamlessly into my feed 😂

This doesn’t mean that I’m trying to trick y’all into thinking I have the perfect life!
Yes, I’m constantly aware of and grateful for the fact that Ev is a placid, happy kid, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a pain in the butt sometimes, or a total ratbag on other days. Everly can throw her avocado on the floor with the best of them.

But my Instagram feed, by my choice, shares the best & prettiest parts of our life. The love, the joy, the beautiful clothes (on Everly, not on me #kmartislife), the toys, the cooking, the smiles.

Our reality is still there in the captions, amongst the edited photos, in the stories and the DM’s.

Just remember, if it looks like a rose-tinted life… it’s probably a preset.

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