I realized a few weeks ago that Instagram was ruining my life. Well, maybe not literally, but the excitement of social media can be addicting. And its not just me… even Cardi B commented on it in an IG post:

Social Media has been the most disgusting place. It makes me question humanity and not only on celebs on other people and situations. I see people on here laughing and getting joy of other people’s misery. People wishing for other people’s kids to be taken away from them. Wishing that people careers fail and fall not knowing how they going to provide for their family next.

I found I would spend endless hours scrolling through my timeline, liking post after post of beautiful women in bikinis or short dresses standing in the most exotic places.

Now I don’t have low self-esteem, and I think my face and body are perfect for me, but feeding myself this constant diet of perfect models, perfect photos, and perfect places was doing a number on my level of confidence in where I am supposed to be in life.

See, I am about to turn 30 this week (woohoo, its my birthday!) and I had a long list of places I wanted to visit. I realize my life isn’t even close to over right now, but I still feel like I should have checked more places off my list by now.

It seems so many of the people who graduated with me are spending their 30th birthdays on the beaches of Bali or the streets of Dubai. And they have these amazing social media photos to prove it.

So I was determined when I went on my 30th birthday cruise vacation last week, that I was going to get TONS of amazing, IG-worthy, wanderlust photos. And it started out great… until I realized I was missing my vacation and my family trying to get the best angle for my social media photos.

I put the phone down, and I stuck the tripod back into my suitcase. I photographed only the things that I really wanted to remember, and I stopped caring about how it would look in my Instagram aesthetic.

The minute I shifted away from posed perfection and started snapping pics for fun, my vacation memories exploded! I had an amazing time! I stopped being late to events, and I was actually able to participate in random dance activities because I didn’t have to worry about sweating my makeup off!

In other words, I stopped trying to live this “social media” life I had seen so many times on my timeline. I was able to focus on the real life I had in front of me.

And you know what? This 30 year old life is pretty amazing!

I am grateful and thankful for it everyday. And while this post isn’t trying to take away from the awesome work that Instagram users put into their photos, it IS a gentle reminder to be easier on yourself.

Worry less about how your activity will look on IG and worry more about how it will FEEL when you look back on it.
How do you balance your social media posts with your real life?

stephthorne

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