Whatever your relationship with social media may be, I am sure you know one thing for certain: there is pressure that shows up with social media one way or another, however that may look for you.
We all have a diff relationship with social media, so that pressure can manifest in a lot of ways. Maybe you feel immense pressure to please your audience and bring them lots of aesthetically pleasing, high quality content where your clothes are styled just right and your hair is supa-freshly highlighted and you’re sipping on the trendiest latte in town with a bada$$ stark white manicure… You know, all Chiara Ferragni-like.
Maybe you’re one of those people who just doesn’t think to take photos when you’re out, and later you’re like, “Damn! I could have gotten the best Instagram photo if only I had taken a picture… I guess my Insta will just stay boring AF…” #pressure.
OR maybe you don’t even use social media for yourself but you feel pressure to check it out every so often to keep up with what your friends are doing, to stalk what your exes are up to, to see if that cute guy you met is indeed single… You know the dealio.
There are ALL SORTS of scenarios, guys. You get me.
I would be willing to bet that most of us (especially those reading this blog) fall into the first category. Either you have a blog, so you have an audience that you feel pressure to bring a specific type of content to — and a LOT of it, and the BEST content imaginable. (* cough, cough * been there). Or you don’t have a blog, but you just live a regular ol’ social life in the modern day and want good pics to capture all the cool shit you’re doing.
That little fear that creeps in that maybe if you don’t post what you’re doing, people will assume you didn’t do anything cool at all and they’ll judge you — or worse, they won’t know the REAL you. They won’t “see” you for who you truly are. We all just wanna be seen, heard and understood; am I RIGHT?
Or maybe you are super creative and a bit OCD and you want your feed to look a certain way — ohhhhh yes I know how that feels — and if you ever post a photo that doesn’t fit with your aesthetic, you’re like, “Oh SHIT, but it looked so good before… Oh well, I don’t really care… I mean yeah I do but AHHH oh well, it’s a good picture right?!?” Then proceed to ask your friends for reassurance that it’s good, then ask them to comment and like it so you gain a little confidence back about that feed aesthetic.
We’ve ALL been there. Blogger or not, there can be some major pressure in this social media cyber YouTube blog Facebook Snapchat blah blah world.
I felt it just last night. I have mentioned this before, but I am constantly torn between posting only curated, high quality images that I take with my amazing photogs, and posting IN THE MOMENT images that may be grainy and/or less visually epic in many ways.
Which brings me to my point…
I think we should all focus on living a pressure-free lifestyle. I know it’s easier said than done, but hear me out.
Last night, I took an INSANE yoga class. One of those stellar, sweat until you cry happy and inspired tears because life is amazing, flow in the heat until your heart rate is pounding through your ears, pump weights to the music and feel like the strongest mother effer on planet earth, creative bursts for your next book idea running through your brain kind of class. The BEST kind of class.
And afterward, you bet your social media savvy ass that I marched right up to the mirrors post-savasana to snap a photo and capture the moment. Err, I mean, TRY to capture the moment… Because there is no way to fully encapsulate that inspired, heart fluttering hard and fast, life is fucking amazing right now feeling on an iPhone camera in the dark.
But, here’s the cool thing: although it may not totally translate via photo, if the soul and passion is behind it, then it kinda DOES translate. SOMETHING translates… And people who are open and in tune and follow me closely, they freaking know.
They KNOW there is something special about that photo.
There is also room for a caption, yes, and I captioned that photo exactly as soulfully and passionately as I wanted and planned to, but also the photo by itself is just straight up special to me.
It’s DARK, doesn’t fit with my bright & airy feed, is the third photo in my most recent six that is an up close image of my full bod — a.k.a, kind of aesthetic repetition / overkill, IF I were to be giving my full-blown advice on the overall look of my Insta right now.
BUT GUESS WHAT? I LOVE IT, it represents something beyond the aesthetic and dives straight into my soul… and that overrules aesthetic perfection ANY day.
I took brighter photos in the bathroom mirror after the class, photos where my abs popped and my face looked weirdly clear and smooth and the zit on my cheek somehow didn’t show up at all. I considered posting that one — it was way more “Instagrammable” by nearly anyone’s standards.
But… I went with the grainy photo. The dark one. The one that made my soul feel alive and brought me right back into that room, the room where I felt 110% connected to every fiber of my being, inspired by every single human in that class, just stoked to be alive after a day that was honestly kind of shitty beforehand.
And it got me thinking — screw pressure. Wrap it up into the tiny box it deserves to live in, tie it with a bow, and chuck it out the window.
Life is not ABOUT feeling pressured. Life is about sharing our souls, the deepest and most firmly rooted parts of ourselves; taking them out of their shells and sharing them with one another.
Not only in a yoga studio. Not only in a therapy session or on a wellness retreat or when you happen to feel comfortable or in love enough with someone to be your truest, most authentic self. Just always.
In that grainy photo, that daaaarkkkk iPhone photo that VSCO & FaceTune saved from being basically fully black — I see a little glimpse of my soul.
I also see a body that I am proud of, that sweats for me every single day because it feels good — and eyes that have been through a lot and continue to try to figure this life thing out day by day, but are CALM and peaceful and oh so happy in that moment.
In that moment.
Live for it. Live for the little tiny moments that make up our days. And focus on sharing those with the world, instead of our perfectly curated photos.
And if you prefer perfectly curated photos, if you don’t feel pressure with them at all and they make your soul feel alive and they make you feel SEEN and like you can share your passion with the world through them… Keep posting AWAY. I def know how that feels, because making magic with my photographers (and with my camera, too!) makes me feel very, very, very alive and inspired a lot of the times.
Just don’t put the pressure on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. I am often comparing myself to the biggest, most successful fashion bloggers and fitness bloggers out there — and that never does me any good. Because they aren’t me.
I’m me, and isn’t that far more interesting than me trying to replicate someone else?
Yeah, yeahhhhhh it is. And being authentic to yourself feels so damn good. It’s almost like a drug. The healthiest kind. 😉
Cheers to a pressure-free weekend! Wish me luck, I will be practice teaching all weekend at teacher training — semi-nervous, and very excited all at the same time. Thoughts? LOVE YOU GUYS.
* More on this to come, because I am obsessed with the topic!