December 6, 2017
If you follow my Instagram stories, you may have noticed I took a little road trip with some close friends to Buffalo last weekend to catch the Bills game. It was 24 hours full of chicken wings, beer, tailgating, and football. I had SUCH a great time. This kinda weekend is totally my jam.
But I second guessed whether or not I would show it on Instagram. “Does this speak to a high end wedding client?,” “Is tailgating cool enough?” “The Bills colours are TOTALLY off brand!”
So it begs the question.
Is it possible to truly be yourself on social media?
Here’s the thing. I love a good football game. But I ALSO love a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant. I love my Blundstones as much as a great pair of leather ankle boots, and a can of IPA as much as a glass of Shiraz (well, almost). These likes and dislikes are all “me”.
So you can make a choice. You choose to hide certain parts of yourself because they don’t “fit” your brand. You have to in order to be taken seriously as a business, especially as a photographer where your social media feed is expected to be extra, extra beautiful. And that’s okay.
According to this CNN article, Instagram is the worst of the social media apps when it comes to increasing anxiety and depression. Using it causes people, especially young women, “to compare themselves against unrealistic, largely curated, filtered and Photoshopped versions of reality.”
Um, yeah, no kidding.
You see these people with their luxury vacations, their flawlessly applied make-up, and their impeccably designed living rooms and you feel like an inadequate, incompetent failure of life. What those people didn’t tell you is that vacation maxed out their credit card, they applied that make-up 6 times over 4 hours, and their 2 year old threw up all over the living room that they paid someone to design 30 minutes before that photo was taken.
What’s worse, there are services that supply “photo packs” of professionally taken, super cool and trendy images that you can buy and pass off as your own. So chances are a lot of what you see out there is not only curated and unrealistic, but straight up fraudulent.
Real life isn’t very Instagramable.
I’m not going to stop putting out polished, pretty content. It’s part of my job and I can’t do it any other way. But I can share a little bit about what goes into creating that content. Trust me, it doesn’t just happen naturally.
Is it possible to truly be your authentic self on social media? To show every part of who you are, including the bad and the ugly? Well, kinda, I guess. But straight up, no one will follow you. As business owners, that’s not something we can afford.
No one has a perfect life, not even the “influencer” with 150K followers.
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