It’s one of the ultimate 21st-century problems.
You’re putting off a boring task (like folding the laundry). Against your better judgment, you plop down on the sofa, pick up the phone, and partake of that great American pastime…
Scrolling on Instagram.
The second you sign on, you see that blush-pink picture of the girl journaling on the beach, manifesting her dream life, and citing an inspirational quote.
Then there’s the photo of that perfect woman in that gorgeous outfit that she got from a sponsor for free, lounging on a yacht on a Tuesday morning while sipping a cocktail.
What about the photo of the mom who is rocking her hair and makeup while driving the kids in matching outfits to school in a brand new Range Rover?
You get the picture. (Literally.)
You scroll on, and your heart sinks. Then your mind goes into overdrive. It reminds you that you may never be as pretty, thin, rich, or Zen-like as everyone in your news feed.
But what if there’s more to each Insta-worthy moment than meets the eye? What if everything isn’t quite as perfect as it might look?
Today I’m giving you a behind-the-scenes look at Instagram influencers and Social Media Superstars. And along the way, I might expose some not-so-pretty truths about lives that look a little…too…perfect.
Quick disclaimer: I’m not playing sour grapes. I’m not knocking anyone who shares the highlights of their life on Social Media, either (we all do that, myself included)!
But what I do want is to free you from self-judgment. Because what you see on Facebook or Instagram is just part of that person’s story – it’s not the full thing.
You don’t have to hold your life to the standards you see on Social Media. Why?
Because–those standards aren’t even real!
Ready to learn the truth behind your favorite influencer’s Instagram highlight reel–and how to stop comparing it to your own behind-the-scenes reel? Let’s dive in!
These days, people are getting more transparent and vulnerable on Social Media platforms.
Honesty and realness are slowly but surely becoming more common since the advent of things like Facebook lives and Instagram stories. This is the good news.
Then, there’s the rest of your news feed…
The perfect pictures, the constant happiness, the impossible standards, all on a 24/7 repeating loop.
Let me share three truths that just might change the way you feel when you’re scrolling…
Truth #1: Every picture tells a story (with an agenda). Here’s the deal. What you see in your news feed might look like spontaneous moments. But more often than not, they’re staged, hand-selected images.
No matter how truthful or authentic someone is, there’s usually an intention behind the snapshots. It’s a well-thought out picture with an agenda behind it, and it wants to make you take a specific action like enrolling in a program, buying a product, envying their lives to build their following so they get paid more for sponsorships to do the aforementioned in the future.
Sure, their agenda might be to inspire you. It might be to save puppies or trees. Or to sell you something that’ll change your life. But no matter how well-meaning a post is, it’s usually not off the cuff–a lot of planning went into it!
Now, don’t get me wrong– there’s nothing wrong with selling, portraying, or promoting anything (we do it here)!
But don’t let someone else furthering their own agenda make you feel like your life isn’t good enough.
What they’re posting is promoting their purpose. So remember not to take it too personally!
Truth #2: The picture doesn’t tell the whole story. Remember that picture of that guy in the hot car or that girl posing on a yacht with a cocktail? How about that woman with the perfectly symmetrical face and chiseled cheekbones?
What if I told you that they might not be sharing everything that went into that photo-op?
The truth is, many Social Media stars are doing a lot of prep-work before the camera clicks.
Because let’s be real–portraying an image on the internet can be a full-time job.
I know internet marketer guys who rent Lamborghinis and mansions as props for their video ads shoots and then claim them as their own.
There are tons of Instagram models who shape their faces with plastic surgery, face fillers, and wrinkle relaxers. Even with thick contoured makeup.
Now, full disclosure–I am not knocking things like bronzers, Botox, or body wraps. In fact, I’m a contoured makeup fan myself, I’ve had had botox in my forehead… I’m not saying that any of these things make someone a fake.
I’m just reminding you that nobody was born with a perfect face or an ideal body. Even the most stunning model doesn’t roll out of bed looking like a covergirl.
The pictures might look natural, but I promise that what you see is often more about the makeup and enhancements than the genes!
And for the one’s who are more natural with that look that you know I’m talking about, they are the rare 1%…God bless them! And it’s important to not compare ourselves to something that’s not naturally achievable for 99% of the population.
So keep that in mind if you wonder why you don’t look like your favorite Instagram celebrity when you wake up in the morning–believe me, nearly all of them (myself included) don’t either!
Truth #3: Highlight reels don’t show all that is real. We all want to share the good stuff in our lives, the things that make us happy. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But there’s one more news feed truth bomb that we all need to remember. More often than not, whether it’s an influencer with a million followers or your next-door-neighbor, we all share the highs over the lows.
In other words, we see just a small percentage of everyone’s life when we scroll through our favorite apps.
Let’s be real–even the happiest people on the internet aren’t in high-vibe harmony every minute of every day. Just because someone posts an inspirational quote in the afternoon doesn’t mean that they didn’t have an emotional meltdown that morning.
In fact, whenever I schedule my posts – sometimes I see my own one come out when I’m having a moment and think oh man, that’s not how I’m feeling right now.
No matter where someone lives, how sculpted their abs are, or how hot their car is, they have their moments. Guaranteed.
They wake up some days feeling less than perfect. They have insecurities, confusions, struggles, and dreams as we all do.
Again, choosing to share photos of their Zen-like beach walk over their emotional breakdown does not make them fake. It just means that the beach walk is a part of their life, not their entire life.
Everyone has their dreams, struggles, wins, and losses. What anyone chooses to share on social media, celebrity or not, is up to them.
At the end of the day, remember that we’re all human, we all have our moments, and we’re in this life thing together!
Here’s the biggest thing of all–the more you let go of self-comparison, the freer you become.
You’re free to be you while letting everyone around you–even the social sedia superstar you’ve never met–be herself, too.
How liberating is that?
So what can you do to avoid comparison, take back your power, and scroll through Instagram with less stress?
Here are my top three steps to social scrolling freedom!
Step 1: Remember the purpose behind every post. Keep in mind that an a lot of posts are created to enroll you in something, sell you something, or trigger a feeling. There’s marketing, mindset, and psychology at play, and it’s all serving an agenda (even if it is a positive one)!
Don’t take any of it too seriously, or too personally. Build the resilience so so that you can stay in your power, no matter what anyone in your Instagram feed is doing.
Step 2: Decide what you want for yourself. If you decide to compare yourself to anyone, let it be you! By that, I mean the version of you that you want to be.
But this is the important part: reach for your dream life not by dwelling on what you don’t have, but by envisioning what you need right now to take the next step. Choose to align with the way you want to feel, and follow the people who inspire those feelings.
You don’t have live by the standards set by random influencers (who in reality may or may not be living their best lives) just because their post got 10,000 likes.
Decide what you want to feel, follow the accounts that bring on those feelings, and let go of the rest.
Step 3: Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow. The accounts you’re following might seem to be positive. But if there’s anything that triggers you or makes you feel less than, don’t feel obligated to keep them in your feed. Use that “unfollow” button for its intended purpose.
It’s what I call a “Social Media Detox,” and you might be due for one!
I strongly encourage you to take some time every now and then to give your online space a little energy check. Look at what is showing up in your newsfeed on the regular, and ask yourself truthfully how it makes you feel.
And if there’s a person, place, or thing you that does not bring you joy, just #KonMari it and hit that unfollow button!
Honestly, I’ve had to unfollow a lot of those motivational quote accounts, crazy as that might sound. Why?
The truth is that many of them just didn’t inspire me anymore. Some were even triggering for me, believe it or not because I’d think of how far I had to go to get “there”.
Here’s the thing. No matter who you are or how much success you’ve had, everyone has triggering moments. There’s no reason to keep those triggers around if they’re only bringing you down.
Life is challenging enough, and nobody needs energy sinkholes on their phone.
So if you’re following a recipe account that only makes you stress about food, unfollow it.
If there’s a fitness influencer that makes you second guess your weight loss journey, let that person go.
If there is anyone who makes you look at your life and say, “OMG, I’ll never be like her,” get them out of the scrolling loop, pronto!
I invite you to go through your news feed, eliminate the noise that steals your joy or drains your energy, and keep what lifts you up. That’s your assignment for today!
No matter what, let me assure you: where you are right now is perfect for you in this moment. Don’t allow anyone else’s journey make you feel like you’re behind in life.
Use what you see online as motivation, inspiration, or a chance to learn instead of a reminder of how far you have to go. And if someone’s posts steal your joy, just say NO and unfollow.
Keep your online space a loving, supportive, inspiring place for where you are now, and leave the rest!
Grab my free training at this link, and start living your journey to Food Freedom Forever!
So what do you think? Have you ever been triggered by the “perfect” lives of Instagram influencers, and do any of these truths surprise you? How about my tips to trigger-proof your Social Media feeds?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this hot topic! Leave me a comment below!