One mama’s experiment with taking selfies and social media…
It’s a funny, old world we live in. One where our every move has the potential to be documented by the wonder of social media. It’s almost as if it hasn’t actually happened, if we don’t share it on Instagram or Facebook. These platforms have an amazing ability to inspire and invigorate. But equally, they can do the complete opposite. Make you feel low. Behind the times. Or simply a bit left out from the ‘cool’ gang. Because it feels like EVERYONE is more hip and happening than you.
Until I started writing, I wasn’t even on Facebook. A ‘stalker’ experience had left me wary and in need of maintaining my privacy.
So the fact that I now lead such an online life could not be more of a contradiction. But social media has given me opportunities to write that I simply would not have had without it. So, whilst some days my relationship with it is a bit ‘love/hate,’ for that reason alone, I can’t deny its importance.
But as with all things that have the potential to become addictive, there has to be some balance with social media. Like many others I’m sure, I have to be careful with its impact on my mental wellbeing. There are so many cool images out there. Of cool people leading cool lives. On those days where I haven’t had a moment (or even the inclination) to put on a scrap of make up or straighten my hair, images like that can make me feel utterly rubbish. And I have to remind myself that behind every perfect image are probably a hundred, discarded, less perfect images.
I know this first-hand. After I tried to take a selfie using an actual selfie-stick for my Instagram. ‘Let’s take a photo of me dressed up to go out,’ I thought. ‘Rather than the million pictures of me sitting in front of various household appliances (or my latest low – on the doorstep) drinking wine. How hard can it be? Fashion bloggers do it ALL of the time.’
Well. I’ll tell you how hard it was. HARD! I must have taken 1,317 shots before I got this one that didn’t make me look like a) a complete idiot b) I loved myself c) someone very self-consciously taking an irrelevant selfie in their back garden. At one point I caught my neighbour watching me curiously and I ducked inside, completely embarrassed. ‘I am SO not cut out for this,’ I thought. ‘Back to selfies of me drinking wine then.’ Quite frankly, after that experience, I’m in even more awe of the fashion bloggers I follow, than I was before.
And I would be lying if I said there isn’t a part of me that wishes I lived an effortlessly cool life. Where I listened to cool music. Went to art galleries, just because. Loved clothes SO much that I wore something different every day that didn’t lazily consist of jeans and a slogan t-shirt. But I’ve also learned that you don’t have to be cool to be sassy.
To be tenacious and go after what you want, even when there are risks, is a combination of a state of mind and doing. YOUR mind and YOUR doing. It’s not about how others perceive you to be. Or even how you perceive yourself. To stand up and be counted, you only need to have the courage of your convictions. And to do either, it’s pretty irrelevant what you’re wearing or how cool (or uncool) you feel.
Because, amidst the sea of images and status updates floating around on Instagram and Facebook, there will always be someone cooler than you. Always someone more accomplished than you. But, there will never be someone like you. You are totally unique.
Now, tell me. What could be cooler than that?
Featured image via Pinterest