I almost burnt down my apartment starting this blog.
You read that right.
It’s something I’m not proud of, but I think it’s a story worth telling.
I am a sucker for pretty pictures and aesthetics. When I first started daydreaming about this blog, the pictures were the first thing I thought about.
I instantly was trying to think of pretty places I could take pictures at and parts of my room I wanted to share (of course only after I shoved the piles of clothes and my never-ending mess in my closet).
I decided that my bed platter (is that even the correct term for it?) that is usually stacked full of junk would be a good place to start. I dusted it off, threw some random supplies on it started working towards a beautiful picture. What better way to start off a blog than by posting about a fake worksite that I never use!
I surprisingly was doing pretty well. The lighting in my room was decent enough to work with. I was getting some good angles.
Then, the candle tipped over.
I’ve never moved faster in my life. Luckily, the flame went out when it tipped over, and none of the wax got on my bed.
You guys want to know what I did next?
I relit the candle.
I hadn’t gotten the perfect angle yet.
After I finished, I looked through the mere 100 pictures on my phone of a fancy “workplace” I never really work from. I thought to myself: this is going to be exhausting.
By the time I finished scrolling through the pictures and deleting three-fourths of them, it hit me.
This isn’t what I want to be putting out to the world. This isn’t going to help me reach other people and show them my life. This isn't realistic at all.
Yes, I love beautiful pictures, and I hope to create plenty of them to share on my site. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting your feed or your life to be more aesthetically pleasing. But I want my pictures to be pretty and real.
I’ve always felt the need for my social media posts to be perfect. Perfect lighting. Perfect angle. Everything. And it's exhausting.
I think this is something many girls my age can relate to, and I think it’s something that needs to be talked about. Because I'm tired of trying to be perfect all the time, and I have a feeling some of you are too.
So let's do something about it.
Let's stop taking 73 pictures so we get the best one. Let's stop spending 30 minutes messing with the lighting. Let's stop worrying about what our followers are going to think of that personal side of you that you have been too scared to share on your social media.
If you have never done any of those things, props to you girl. Seriously. I admire you. Because I know there are many of us that have.
I’ll tell you now, I am not going to be perfect when it comes to showing the real me on my blog and social media. There will probably be times I hesitate before posting that picture that isn’t the best angle with a caption that doesn't quite sound like my previous ones that my followers are used to seeing.
But I certainly am ready to try. Girls, we can’t keep putting all this pressure on ourselves. Why should we? It’s our social media. It’s supposed to show who we are.
The bottom line, I am here to serve you guys, whether I need to do that by posting genuine pictures, sharing these embarrassing stories, or being a friend for someone who also struggles with these things. I want this platform to a place to find inspiration when you're wondering why your life doesn't look as neat or interesting as someone else's. I hope we can all learn to not feel the need for our lives to look perfect online.
So I’m ending this post with 3 questions to ask yourself when you go to post on social media (yes, I am still working on these myself) :
1. Who are you posting for?
I would catch myself posting certain pictures on my feed because I knew my followers would like it. They would expect something like that from me. There were pictures I didn't post because I didn't know how my followers would react to it.
You don’t owe anyone anything on your social media. That’s why people have the power to follow who they want to follow. Post what you want to post.
2. How long are you spending on this post?
As someone who has helped run a small business and large company's social media, I completely understand the importance of social media posts and the need to strategize.
But people, we don’t need to need to be spending more than 20 minutes on a social media post for our personal pages. (GUILTY. I’ve spent more than 25 minutes on an Instagram story).
Challenge yourself the next time you go to post a picture. Give yourself 20 minutes from start to finish for your post.
Don’t over-analyze your editing. Don’t redo your caption 6 times. Just do what you want to do.
3. How do you feel once you hit post?
Anxious? Nervous? Content? Not a care in the world? Are you refreshing your activity every 30 seconds to track your likes? For your own health and sanity, put that phone down.
If you shared what you wanted to share, that's all the matters. Yes, if you’re running a business, you need to track your posts to see how people react to them. But most of you are sharing your personal life, and it shouldn’t really matter how people respond to that.
Put your phone down for at least five minutes after you post. Don’t even think about it. Go do something else.
Though social media pressure may seem insignificant, I think it’s one of the greatest struggles for people in their twenties, especially us girls. It’s definitely been a struggle for me for several years. We’ve got to stop people. It’s silly.
So I promise to do my part in being as real as I can be on this platform. I won’t be perfect. But who is?