The Truth Behind The Filters: What Our Timelines Don’t Show

Have you tried following one of those beauty guru’s makeup tutorials? They make it look so easy. Then, when you attempt to recreate the look you just end up looking like a clown. Or maybe you’ve tried to get that FarmHouse chic look for your living room and it comes out looking more like an abandoned chicken coup. 

ian-dooley-281846-unsplash.jpg

Me too!

I am not a Pinterest mom at all. In fact, I’m 100 percent an Amazon Prime kind of mom. With two kids, two jobs, paired with trying to get a business going and attending school full-time, I barely have time to even look at Pinterest. Yet, somehow in the midst of all of this, I find myself scrolling through social media wishing my life looked like more like the photos on my timeline. I ask myself why can’t I have a spotless and impeccability decorated house? I think about how I could dress my kids cuter and make time in my busy day to get that insta-worthy picture. Pretty soon, I’m left feeling like I just don’t measure up.

However, there’s one vital thing I am not taking into consideration when I sit and compare my life to others’ on the internet... and that’s reality!

We all do it. We look at a person’s social media account and it’s filled with photos that are posed to perfection, paired with clever captions, and flawless lighting. We look at all of those things and automatically assume that person must have it all together. What we forget is that this picture is what this person chose to share with us, it is not a full representation of their everyday life. We don't see the person we are comparing ourselves to on their bad days. We never get to see the overslept messy hair looks, the stressed out and overworked breakdowns, or any of the many struggles that daily life can bring.   

What makes us look at someone else’s highlight reel and compare it to our kid's dirty diapers and hamper full of clothes?

I cannot tell you how many times I have beaten myself up because I don't think that I am doing enough. I don't know the last time I took a selfie without putting a filter on it. The old phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” means having all of the nicest things. Now it’s not even about having the nicest things but making people believe you do. Feeling the pressure to constantly build an perfect filtered image of ourselves is not only exhausting and ultimately unfulfilling.

I know this concept all too well. My last pregnancy was really rough, but all I heard was how great I looked and how much I was able to get done while pregnant. What people didn't realize is that was all my filtered life. No one knew that my house was constantly a disaster and I pretty much lost my career due to such bad nausea and exhaustion. Not to mention the effect it played in my marriage with the financial strain of me being unable to contribute to our family’s income. All that I wanted was for others to see that my family had it all together and that I, as a wife and mother, wasn’t missing a beat, although secretly I was falling apart.

Why do we feel this pressure to live a filtered life? We all know it's not reality! No one is really perfect. Maybe if I would have opened up about my struggles during that time, it wouldn’t have affected me so hard emotionally. My pride in what others thought of me gave birth to control, anger, fear, insecurity, and jealousy that ruled my thoughts and actions. If I would have been honest with myself and those around me perhaps I would have had the support that I needed during that time.

What I am trying to say is that you are not alone. I have been right there with you in those moments. We all battle the world we live in and constantly trying to live a filtered life that makes it seem like we have it all figured out. It’s not easy, but when we choose to be open, truthful, and vulnerable with people then our authentic self is able to shine. Honesty and transparency create the opportunity to connect with others on a deeper level. And I promise that is much more rewarding than hundreds of likes on a photo.

So I’m challenging you, as well as myself, to embrace the unfiltered life. This doesn’t mean you have to stop posting cute selfies with your adorable dog or delete social media altogether. Just try to remember on the days when you don’t feel like you are living up to those around you that your life is just as beautiful as the person’s next to you (or on your timeline).  

Join the conversation: Share with us one time social media has made you compared your struggles with someone else's "picture perfect" life.