For Moms and Dads Lifestyle

Social media and insecurity: A look behind the perfect Instagram feed

“Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel”

Social media can generate insecurity in even the most self-confident individuals. Last night, Jude was sick so I stayed up with him and to pass the time I started reading Reddit. There, I stumbled upon a post from someone confessing to feeling insecure because of the influencers she followed on Instagram. The comment section broke my heart. So many of them – so many of us –  felt the same. You can’t compare a snippet of these influencers’ lives carefully curated by them, to your everyday life. Easier said than done, I know. I’m on both sides of the issue so I get it: I’m an influencer and I have insecurity issues. If you struggle with this, I hope hearing me will help you feel better.

The difference between IG and reality

When you look at my Instagram feed, you, hopefully, see a well-curated feed with good photography. What you don’t know is that my feed is like this because I have OCD. Not the cute “I’m so OCD” you hear people using left and right. No. Real OCD that impacts my life to the point that I want to bang my head on the wall at times.  It’s something I’ve been working on in therapy and it’s not yet getting better.

When you look at my follower count, you may think that I’m popular. In reality, if I wanted to have a beer with someone tonight, I’d have no one to call. Why? I have  hard time connecting with people and have developed deep trust issues. The main recent reason is that a couple of Instagram friends have been spreading rumors behind my back for the past 18 months. People I thought were my friends. Every time I get a screenshot about something nasty they said about me, my heart breaks.

When you look at photos of me, you may see a fit mom. In reality, I’m neither lucky or great at exercising and dieting, I have thyroid issues. I’ve tried to gain weight. I can’t. I’m self-conscious about it and dislike hearing that I should eat more or that I look anorexic.

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Grass is always greener on the other side

When you look at pictures of the boys, you may see well-behaved kiddos posing for the camera. What you’re not seeing are the other 200 pictures of them crying, running away and fighting with each other. What you don’t know is that I had to bribe them to get a good photo that day.

When you look at my house, oh wait you don’t… I choose not to show my house because it’s not glorious. It’s outdated and it gets messy within minutes. Ever wondered why all my indoor photos are close-ups?

When you see my posts about Charlie’s progress, you may feel that I’m lucky to have a child who progresses. What I’m not telling you about are the issues that are too sensitive to be exposed on social media. What you don’t know is that we have dark lows, but because of harassment from the #actuallyautistic community I experienced when sharing about the hard autism days, I’m now terrified of sharing anything negative. I live in fear that these people were right and that Charlie will grow up to hate me.

When you look at me, you may see a “normal” mom, and you don’t see that I’m autistic. What you don’t know is that this hurts me. It hurts to have a disability that is invisible to the untrained eye. It sets high expectations for me that I can’t always live up to.

I love this quote that I found online that sums it up perfectly.

“Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel”

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Kayleigh
    2018-06-02 at 6:15 AM

    Oh,
    this was a great read that I can really relate to.
    It sucks to hear the negatives, you are an amazing mother.
    Keep doing what you are doing. Your boys are everything and your love for them is so evident. Shame on those who choose to judge you for doing your best to raise them and be yourself!
    Never change <3

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