What does it mean to be "Instagram worthy?"
Are your photos Instagram worthy? Do you only post the highest and happiest moments of your life for others to see? Do you have thoughts of anxiety/jealousy/anger/resentment towards others you follow, wondering "can their life really be that peachy ALL the time?" I want to talk about this idea of "Instagram worth." I really want to punch the idea of "Instagram worth" in the face, to be frank. I'm hoping you will realize that Instagram could not possibly be a reflection of your best moments. Your life is more worthy than any Instagram post could ever reflect.
I want to start by saying that I do, indeed, carefully choose the photos I share online. I like pretty pictures. I like pictures of interesting things. I don't post photos of the pile of laundry on my living room floor because I don't even want to look at it, why would anyone else? That doesn't mean I don't have dirty laundry. It simply means there is a time and place for dirty laundry. You follow?
I do, however, try to be very transparent with my stories and my captions. You will never see me post a caption that reads "happy fall, ya'll" or "living in sweaters, boots, and pumpkin spice <3.' Not to say there is anything wrong with those words, I just tend to find them simple and unexciting. I also will not lie in my captions. If I took my son on and adventure and he was crying the whole time, I tell that story in my caption even if my photo is a picture of him smiling. I don't fabricate it to make it seem like we were just rolling in sunshine and rainbows all day if it was, in fact, a miserable time. I do find fault with people who create false narratives, and feel as though people should be more (I tried so hard not to use this word but I can't help myself) AUTHENTIC in their posting.
I digress. What I am here to talk about is changing our perception of what is "Instagram worthy." The other day I went to Vermont with my son and my husband. It was a last minute decision to see the Autumn colors in another beautiful New England place. I booked a hotel on the way there. I accidentally booked it in the wrong state, and quite a ways passed where we intended to go. Everyone in New England had the same idea as I did, so alllllllll the hotels were either booked up, or over 2x their normal price. We payed a ridiculous amount of money for a DUMP of a hotel. I say that as someone who used to sleep on my fire boots on the ground as a firefighter, so you know this place really was pretty bad. My husband and I were dying laughing at the events of finding this hotel as they played out. We were cracking up thinking of all the "Breaking Bad-esque" types of encounters that likely happened there. We were dying at the noises we could hear from the upstairs neighbors all night long. It was honestly a disaster. The next day we explored the town we intended to go to. The weather was perfect. We had a blast! As we were walking back to the car, I snapped the above polaroid photo of the three of us. It instantly became my new favorite picture, even though it's a silly little polaroid and would not be considered worthy of Instagram. You can't see the leaves, you can't see the town, you can't see the hotel. We don't have pictures of how hard we laughed when we turned on the jets in the "jacuzzi tub" and the worst thing I have ever smelled came streaming out of them. I don't have pictures of my husband holding my hand to comfort me after making the mistake of booking this hotel and wanting to cry. BUT... this photo represents the laughter we shared. It reminds me of the memories we created... none of which were captured by a photo we could put on Instagram. We took a few photos of the leaves and of Maddux that I will put on Instagram. They were taken in a pretty place with favorable lighting that I went out of our way to find, but none of them were the nitty gritty of the amazing silly memories we made together. The true happy moments were not being made when these photos were taken.
The moment I took this picture I realized that Instagram is not worthy of my best moments. There are no cameras rolling in the middle of the night when my son wakes up crying and wants to be held by his mama. There are no cameras when I am cuddling with my husband. There were no cameras to capture my mom's face when she saw my son for the first time. There were no cameras when I mentioned I wanted a Diet Coke and my husband immediately got up and went to McDonald's to get me one ;) There were no cameras in the temple when I promised to love and be faithful to my husband forever. These are the moments that make me smile the hardest, love the deepest, and feel the strongest. During the best and most intimate moments of my life, there are no cameras. No pictures. No Instagram.
If you struggle with people not being "real" on Instagram, just focus on those moments in your life when you were too busy living to pull out the camera. Photos are staged. People pause and pose and try to get their best angles. The best moments happen when there isn't time to think about pulling out a camera. It's important to try to represent your true self when posting on social media, but it's more important to not let yourself believe that those staged moments are better than your most intimate memories.
The next time you don't feel like your photos or your life are "Instagram worthy," just remember that Instagram isn't worthy of the most beautiful moments in your life.