Curating Our Lives Online
We’re all putting ourselves out there online, some more than others. We share through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like. There are apps where we can share what we’re reading, how we’re working out, how many calories we’re ingesting, what images we like, the videos we make. We are really leaving no stone unturned in our sharing these days. We’re sharing each other’s successes, likes and dislikes and in some cases, some of this is turning into us straight up resenting people. It’s important to remember, now more than ever, what we share may not actually reflect the reality. To all extents and purposes, we are essentially curating our lives online.
We’re picking and choosing what we share, and rightly so, that’s our prerogative. But it’s easy to think everyone else’s life is all rainbows and unicorns because all we see is them at that awesome gig, the free things they’ve been given, the wonderful holiday they’re on, the beautiful friends they have.
No one wants to show their downside, the tough times. Sure, the Instagram pics of that holiday were fantastic – but it’s not like the person will post a pic of their astronomical credit card bill after the fact. It spoils the illusion. We just want to see the end result – not the toil that goes into it.
All these social sharing options have made us all master curators. Whether we realise it or not, we’re thinking of our lives as the very best art galleries. We’re selectively sharing just the best bits.
Even myself – the other day, I did a blog post about happiness, because I’m currently bouncing-off-the-walls happy, and I am. But I don’t tend to write or post about the days I just want to hide under the duvet and have the world stop turning for a bit. I don’t tend to share my moments of intense anxiety and self-doubt. But I go through them, believe you me, I do.
No one wants to be a Debbie Downer, full of doom and gloom, posting how miserable and alone they are. We want everyone to think we’re being AWESOME twenty four hours a day. It’s similar to when you see someone and you ask ‘how are you?’ and they say ‘fine’ and you later find out they’re anything but. We don’t want to trouble others with our problems. Those are things we should deal with behind closed doors.
I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m just saying it’s important to remember when you’re scrolling through an Instagram feed of seemingly endless awesomeness and you feel your life is shitty, those people have their shitty moments too. They’re just picking and choosing what to share. But I also think, on those days where you are having a tough one, you shouldn’t feel ashamed to reach out in some way. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my blog life over the past six years, it’s that while sure, there are murky corners of the internet filled with douchebags, for the most part, you can make some real and wonderful connections online, connections who will gladly share a kind word or two when you’re going through it. Don’t feel ashamed to curate your story, in its entirety, online if you so wish.
The pic above is of me a couple of weeks ago on the set of a photo shoot for a magazine. I had a terrible flu and had been in bed for four days. I rocked up to that shoot looking like absolute death. The make up artist worked HARD for her money that day. I sneezed, coughed and spluttered my way through that shoot in a freezing cold studio, wearing just a sports bra. Then I went home and got back into a bed surrounded by snotty tissues. But I chose to take a photo at the most glamorous moment of the day. All is not as it seems.