On Beautifying Life via Instagram and Facebook...
I’m obsessed with Facebook and Instagram. Much more so Instagram, but it’s not like Facebook will never not have a place in my heart. It’s like that first love that you will always wonder what he or she is up to and tell yourself not to check in on them, but you do anyway and usually get upset and have to take a couple days to bounce back. Facebook is 100% for emotional cutting and blog promotion and I’m totally cool with that.
Every morning, without fail, the first thing my sleepy eyes do is search for my iPhone (there’s never any telling where it’s going to have slept overnight. Sometimes it’s on my dresser, other times it’s on the floor. Most times, though, it’s under my pillow like I am waiting for the phone fairy to come and replace it with the iPhone 5 or something). Before my brain is even fully functioning, I scroll through Instagram and Facebook like it’s the New York Times. I treat these avenues of social media like an everyday newspaper – I need to know the breaking news. It’s imperative that before my feet hit the ground and the day actually begins, I know what went on during my hours of slumber. And, contrary to your thought of “what could’ve possibly happened in the 8 hours while everyone is sleeping in the world?”, I’ll have you know that MY bedtime is between 9:45-10pm every single night so I know SOMETHNG has gone on in cool people’s live who stay up until midnight and I NEED TO KNOW WHAT ALL HAS HAPPENED.
You see, Instagram and Facebook provide us a world of good. A world of bright colors, incredibly delicious looking food and happiness. We show off our faces, our outfits, our pets, our baking, our significant others and all the wonderful, exciting things we do on a day-to-day basis. It gives us all the chance to put our lives on display in the exact way we want it to be portrayed – and that’s where the issue lies.
Rarely is life ever as happy and bright as our social media applications make it appear. Just because I put up a picture of me out with my girls at a bar on a Friday night looking exceptionally pretty doesn’t mean we had the time of our lives, got drunker than we ever have before, danced with smoking hot dudes, ordered late night pizza and stayed up until 4am. In reality, I most likely took that picture, made my friends and I look ridiculously hot with the X-Pro filter, had one more drink, decided I was tired and it was time to go home, took a cab by myself all the while striking up drunken conversation with the cab driver to make sure he knew I wasn’t incoherent enough to be molested and topped it all off by paying with a credit card because I’m a 2012 brat.
The stories behind the perfect pictures on Instagram or Facebook are dreamily masked with filters and awesome camera angles to such a degree that why would we ever doubt this person is living the life or has the perfect relationship or is on an ice cream cloud made of happiness all the time? Just because someone posts a picture of them and their boyfriend that’s to-die-for cute doesn’t mean they didn’t get into an awful fight the night before and yes, all the girls in this one picture may look skinny and model-gorgeous but they all probably hate each other and walk around scowling constantly because they’re so hungry all of the time.
This brings me to a real-life example because who doesn’t identify best with anecdotes?
I post a shitload on Instagram. I mean, a shitload. I basically post as much as celebrities do but the difference is I’m not a celebrity and no one is really THAT interested in seeing my daily life through pictures like they are with Jessica Alba or Kate Spade. HOWEVER, I don’t care because I like me and I love telling stories or giving status updates through snapshots. I’ve lost plenty of followers due to my over posting, but I’ve also gained a ton, too so I must be doing something semi-entertaining and right.
This past weekend, my boyfriend cashed in a bid he won at an auction for a free night’s stay in a swank hotel in downtown Dallas. When he told me he had booked the room for us, I was all titillated about the idea of being “grown-up” and taking over a hotel room for the night (side note: I still feel 100% like I’m 16-years-old inside. I wonder if it’ll ever go away?). When Saturday rolled around, we spent the entire day lazing on my couch in fat girl clothes, watching Step Brothers, snacking and waiting to leave for the hotel. By 5pm, we were checked in and sitting in our suite’s living room. We immediately turned the TV on and sunk down into the cheap, leather couch and proceeded to watch Big Daddy and slowly get ready for the evening. When we were all dressed up and ready to hit the town, I took these pictures and did one of my crafty “diptic” split-screens to really make the night come alive via Instagram:
The picture got 24 likes and a ton of really sweet, complimentary commentary:
This is the exact kind of reaction most of us hope for when we post pictures, right? I’m sure my followers saw this photo and thought, “Gosh, they’re so suave. Staying in a hotel IN the city they actually live in and going out for a night on the town. That’s so neat.” Little do they know how our glamorous hotel night actually turned out.
My boo and I dined at a local Italian eatery and it was delicious. We gorged on salads, incredibly thick cheesy cheese bread with marina dipping sauce, MORE garlicky butter bread on top of that that we actually fought over, and then topped it off with entrees of veal piccata and rigatoni Bolognese. Oh, and an entire bottle of Shiraz. By the time the bill was paid (8:30pm), we both had that yearning, anticipatory look in our eyes.
“I’m exhausted.” He said.
“Me too,” I replied.
“Let’s go back to the hotel.”
So by 8:45pm on our posh hotel overnight stay, we were done with dinner and back in our room before most people our age are even sat at hip restaurants to eat. We put on our complimentary bathrobes, got in bed, and gorged hard on the free cookies the lobby had been handing out downstairs. My boyfriend splurged on Snow White and the Huntsman for $15.99 and we settled in to enjoy some good cinema.
He passed out ten minutes into the movie.
And snored for the first time ever.
I watched the entire movie alone and had a sudden surge of nausea take over my body right around the time the credits began rolling. I don’t know if it was staring at Kristen Stewart’s face for two hours straight or the rigatoni, but homie did NOT feel okay. I tried fending it off throughout SNL, but my discomfort only became increasingly worse. Cold sweats, then hot flashes and all the while, my boyfriend fast asleep creating a pool of sweat next to me in his hotel robe.
Around midnight, I was in the bathroom, on my knees, giving into my body’s complete dismay. I felt so bad that the delicious dinner my boyfriend had so adoringly bought for us was being completely refunded into the toilet not a few hours later. But then I remembered he had passed out at 9:15pm and didn’t feel AS bad for my vomiting state.
After brushing my teeth and wiping the destroyed mascara from my face, I climbed back into bed (no worries – boyfriend still passed out like I had roofied him with his face where his feet should be) and fell asleep on our sexy, suave, swanky, sophisticated hotel night watching Criminal Minds until 2am.
So you see, although many people saw my Instagram photo and assumed we had the night of our lives full of champagne and strawberries and making out, in all actuality, I got passed out on and then ended up throwing up an entire dinner. Did I want anyone to know the truth behind our picture perfect evening? Of course not. But I’m here to expose the truth behind the filters, the effects and the editing. Nothing is perfect – not even the Lo-Fi filter on a pair of new shoes (although, it does come pretty close). The truth is, the most picture-perfect moments in life are the ones you would never think to take a picture of – when you’re at your ugliest, laying on the couch both having not showered that day, watching a stupid Will Ferrell comedy and loving every minute of your lazy afternoon. But I ain’t gonna put that shit on Instagram. I’m gonna keep y’all wondering and I expect the same from you.
Emma is funny and you can find more of her at her amazing fantastic blog, Emma's Things, which you would be a crazy person not to check out and/or read in its entirety.
^this. click to go to there
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