Guest Writer: Real Life vs. Picture Perfect: Why We Need More Reality on Instagram

As November comes to a close, we bring you the second instalment in our new series, a community driven conversation created by a guest writer. This month we would like to introduce you to Daniela Buck, who recently caught our attention when sharing a far from perfect post on Instagram (where she is known as @wideawakearthquake).

Dani appeared visibly upset in the photo and wrote in her caption, “we tend to forget that Instagram always shows the best side of people, so it’s even more important to stay real. ” In a world over saturated with filtered perfection, Dani’s raw recollection of how she was really feeling stood out amongst the clutter of perfect content, so we asked her to tell us more. In her own words.

No one is perfect

These Mondays! Already feeling nauseous from the day before because of a fight with my brother, I’ve received a bad message, then another one. As we all know, things mostly come together all at once. It was simply too much for me this day. So I started to cry and somehow I couldn’t really stop. My eyes were red, my nose was swollen, my face was wet from tears. Like every day, seven days a week, I was planning to post a picture, on Instagram, later tonight. It was supposed to be a happy and relaxed outfit post.

Well, I changed my mind, took my Fuji out and shot a portrait of my crying self. Of course, it took me another two hours of consideration and going through possible consequences of me posting a picture, totally vulnerable and hurt. Will this have an effect on future collaborations with brands? What will blogger colleagues think of me? How will my followers react? And so on and so forth.

I literally had two voices inside of me. One that was thinking about losing jobs and one that was craving to post something real and honest. Then I thought, “Stop! What am I actually thinking about right now?” That’s MY profile, it’s my decision about what I am going to post and why do I even care about what people will think of me? Maybe because, in 2018, we tend to measure ourselves and our performance by the number of likes we receive from our friends and followers! It’s not ‘just Instagram’  anymore, it happens to be an indicator of how cool, how successful and how pretty we are.

With these thoughts in mind, my final decision was to upload this thang and it turned out to be one of my most liked posts on Instagram so far – engagement wise. (Even though this was not my intention at all!) Of course, many people asked me, if everything is okay and what had happened but the majority of my followers thanked me for showing an imperfect moment on Instagram, for sharing another side of me, a side they didn’t know so far – real me on a bad day – crying, because nobody is perfect!

Take the pressure off perfection

Instagram in 2018 shows so much perfection (my feed included). Happy people, perfect hair, amazing apartments, couples in love etc. More and more people tell me, that they’re getting bored of Instagram and all its perfect moments. So, I think speaking honestly about feelings and sharing a bad day or a sad experience doesn’t hurt anybody, it actually helps!

Like Mark Manson said in his book (‘The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F***’): ‘Negative emotions are a necessary component of emotional health. When we force ourselves to stay positive at all times, we deny the existence of our life’s problems. And when we deny our problems, we rob ourselves of the chance to solve them and generate happiness. Problems add a sense of meaning and importance to our life.’

Therefore, showing real emotions/problems/feelings will get you, as a blogger/influencer, closer to your followers and it will make you look more human and credible in the long run. It will take the ‘pressure off perfection’ off your back and even more important: It will bring you closer to yourself and closer to accepting your own flaws and dealing with them. Because a million likes don’t help, if you don’t like yourself… And as Freud once said, “One day in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

In my opinion, this is going to be an important topic for the future of Instagram and I really hope that brands recognise this issue and stop to only looking at engagement rates, likes and the number of followers an influencer/blogger has but also on how authentic and real they are.

You might ask yourself if I’ve got any more jobs after my crying face went viral? The answer is: Yes – right on the next day – and on top of that, I’ve gotten the chance to write to you here and encourage you to be brave and show #MoreRealityOnInstagram.



About the Author 

Dani works as a content creator and a DJ. 

She is an ambassador for the LSBTTIQ+ community.

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