SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS REEL
The first photo made it to instagram and the rest are a preview of the many that were taken. To me this photo is a memory - a day well spent with my cousin. It's a memory of discovering a new coffee spot in Chelsea, a memory of our freezing hands because we insisted on iced coffees, a memory of my outfit and so on.. A whole day of memories and feelings captured in a series of photos that took about 5 minutes to take. But what I remember and what I show on social media are two different things. I'm showing a photo, which is basically a visual representation of my personality and interests using the aesthetics of the background, color scheme, and my outfit. The rest of the story is what we imagine in our heads as viewers.
I think it would be fair to say that most of us have a love-hate relationship with social media. It's easy to get lost scrolling through feed after feed. Sometimes assuming that life behind the 'gram is as VSCO-filtered and enhanced as the photos it shows. Truth is sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. I've never actually resented people for their insta-fabulous photos because I learned early on that social media is a highlights reel. It's what we want to show. For starters, we are people - we eat, we sleep, we use the bathroom. We all get insecure at times. We laugh and argue with friends and all the mundane stuff that doesn't make it in our camera rolls. Then there are the other half of people who aren't jealous of the insta-fabulous but instead annoyed at the fakeness of social media. Instagram features the absolute best bits and the reality is that for the most part that’s what people WANT to see. This isn't something new either. How many of us had to say "cheese" as kids during family photos? My abuelita used to see our family photos and assume my cousins and I were happy all the time. When in reality my aunts would be making funny faces, struggling to get whoever was crying to say "cheese".
Being relatable, honest and real are all incredibly valuable attributes but there’s being genuine and being too genuine. Do I expect people to post a photo with their significant others and caption the fight they just had? No. Does that mean it doesn't happen sometimes? Of course not. We fill our heads with #lifegoals or #couplesgoals when in reality these photos are just of regular people, who don't necessarily want to highlight the bad times. Meaning you should never compare yourself, believing other relationships or lives are better than yours. No one is perfect. When we forget the reality behind the photos, it gives this impression that no one has bad times, when that is not true. There are times during my travels when I get lost, or sick, or in the wrong uber. There are times I am asked to delete photos/videos of cool spots for security reasons. Sometimes I change my outfit 6 times because I didn't like the way I looked in the first 5. We're flawed, we struggle, we're human. No life is absolutely perfect, even when our photos seem to be. But perception is reality, right?
I will never be ashamed of how much I appreciate social media. What I love most is how it can, in a way, physically capture my memories for me. A memory I can look at, listen to, and replay. Do you know how many candid videos I have of my beautiful mother because of snapchat? Hundreds. She loved snapchat filters. Yes, she was sick. Yes, we were always in the hospital. But all my videos are us goofing around with the filters. Hysterically laughing when my mom would realize I was recording not taking a photo. I have videos of her dancing in the kitchen and videos of her eating soup. To the outside viewer, it may look perfect. Some may call that fake, others call it the perfect highlights of our lives.
It doesn't matter what people want to show or how they show it. We are not obligated to show the "real-ness" unless we want to. If you ate some bad food. There's probably a middle ground between "most amazing food ever" (when it wasn't) and the intimate details of just how bad it upset your stomach. With social media, it's all photos of people expressing the way they want their memories and stories seen/remembered. It’s always important to remind yourself that people sometimes post the best version of themselves. Is that bad? I don't think so. Whether you follow feeds that you can relate to and laugh along with, or follow ones that are comprised solely of flashy staged photos that you love to lust over (of people who like to pose in a prom dress, holding balloons, by the Eiffel Tower), or all the gorgeous artsy fartsy ones in between - it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you never let any app or picture perfect photo make you feel as though you are inferior.
Layering is my best friend during the winter. I'm actually wearing yoga pants underneath my overalls, and a tank top underneath my sweater. The best thing about overalls is that they go over ALL, no matter the season. I went for a white, black, grey color scheme, but black overalls can go over any color. If you've got a cute chunky sweater just add overalls.