I love what I do but it cracks me up when people who don’t know me well think my life is like my Instagram feed: full of glamour, trips, smiling children and simply wonderful moments. They forget I filter what I share and upload on social media. That there are things I don’t photograph. That there are times in which you need to be fully living the moment and not be a spectator snapping a picture or writing about it on Facebook.
Perhaps it would be a welcome addition to the conversations about social media to actually show what we don’t see on a day to day basis on the streams of those we follow, but I don’t feel like it. First, there are things I don’t believe we should share; I might be quite open, but I still feel there are moments that need to be kept private, both emotionally and physically. Second, I assume that anything I post online is public and will live forever and ever on the Internet, so if it may affect a third party, I won’t upload their photo. Finally, I think we would get bored of seeing the truly mundane, everyday stuff, because even reality shows are heavily produced. I’d rather curate what I share.
I do have to say that my social media reflects part of my life. Instagram shows a glimpse. Even I am surprised when I realize how much I did on any given week and the amount of traveling I have accumulated this year. My heart melts when I see my kids smiling and the quotes or phrases I make up give me a much-needed lift when I am tired.
What is extremely clear in my mind is what you cannot see what happened before or after the picture is taken. You cannot see how hard it was to get up in the morning when you have hardly slept meeting deadlines or caring for a sick child. You cannot see the stress of trying to make it in time for school pickup or the deals that fell through. The context of what I share on Instagram or Facebook is like every other working mom’s life. In my case, my career allows me to meet amazing people and travel to cool places, but I don’t forget that at the end of the day, homework, sibling rivalry and the supermarket list await my attention.
Do you curate your own life when you share it online?