Why My Life Isn’t as ‘Perfect’ as my Instagram Feed (Brutally Honest!)

The ‘Instagram Life’. Let’s be honest, we all know that one friend who you hang out with that photographs everything. That friend would be me. I’m not even ashamed to admit it! I’ll even get my friends and family in on it, because everything is about the ‘gram life. However, behind every ‘perfectly’ edited photo with a circle frame, is a story.

Instagram feed by @jenniferwl_ run by The Confessions of an Online Shopaholic

What’s with the circles? What about Instagram trends?

So, you may or may not follow my Instagram, but I’m that annoying one who puts all her images in a circle to mess up your perfect square feed that you scroll through. I used to have a personal account before I set up my blog, and I looked through it and thought…

“This is the most generic Instagram account I have ever seen.”

I’ve always been about testing new boundaries, and not following the crowd. I love the idea of coming up with original concepts, and curating something that is easy on the eye. Hence the circles! I just find that circles are less harsh to look at, than the usual squares. I’ve admittedly always loved everything monochrome, minimalistic and luxury. That’s just my style in general.

Jennifer Lam from The Confessions of an Online Shopaholic shares why her life isn't as perfect as her Instagram Feed

I unfortunately fail as a blogger, as I can’t do the typical ‘blogger poses’. I wish I had the confidence to pull them off, but I can’t help but laugh at myself every time I try. Recently, I was involved in a photoshoot in London, and the photographer said I looked better when I smiled, than when I pull a serious face. So, my serious face must be horrendous…

I also try to stay authentic, and true to myself. I post whenever I feel like it. My life really isn’t as exciting as my feed portrays everyday. Some day’s I post photos from weeks or months ago just for the sake of posting. Most days I’m actually sat at home in my PJs binge-watching Netflix! I stopped heavily focusing on flatlay photography as well. This is only because it caused me so much stress to get it perfect. I still take them from time-to-time, but I don’t prioritise my time on them.

“Your life is perfect. You have nothing to be sad about. I mean just look at your Social Media Jenny!”

So, this is a true quote that was said to me by someone in my past. I have never felt so infuriated when I heard this. I think people forget that when it comes to posting online for all sorts of people to see, you don’t tend to post about when you hit rock bottom. You don’t tend to post about your struggles. You only show people what you want them to see.

If I were to post about my life being so terrible in the online community, I’d come across as ungrateful. Believe me, I am so thankful and so blessed for everything I have. I think about how lucky I am all of the time. However, people are quick to assume you’re handed a silver platter by taking one look at your Instagram. People wouldn’t know that you’ve supported your family’s business since 9-year’s-old. Many children wouldn’t even comprehend such responsibility at that age. Before people say I was too young, it was my choice! I always want to give back to my parents for letting me have a roof over my head. My parents have taught me the value of money, and to save for what you want in life. Nothing is free in life.

Jennifer Lam talks about how the perfectly curated feed doesn't represent her real life

Save, save… SAVE!

As soon as I was old enough to get a job, I went out and worked. Anything I earned went straight into my savings account, as I try to live by saving my pennies for a rainy day. In fact, I’m such a workaholic these days, that I went into work instead of university. Working fuels an inner fire within me, so I’m a goal-setter to stay motivated.

As a self-confessed online shopaholic, I obviously believe in treating myself. So, any luxury goods, new clothes, new makeup, new anything, have been bought by me – unless it’s for a special occasion, like my birthday.

“Don’t judge someone’s life based off their social media. You never know what hardships someone went through just to get to the place they are.”

Has Instagram had knock-on effects in my life?

I think anyone who is obsessed with their Instagram can say that it has had some kind of impact on their life. This post was actually inspired by Lorna Luxe’s feature on the Wobble Podcast. I just wanted to give credit where due, as she raised so many valid points that made me think about Instagram on a deeper level, and how it has affected my life.

Jennifer Lam from The Confessions of an Online Shopaholic talks about her thoughts on the Wobble Podcast featuring Lorna Luxe

I’ve had a friend in the past, who used to stalk my Social Media religiously. They became obsessed with the idea that my life was ‘perfect’. This negatively affected their mental health, and our friendship. They started to turn everything into a competition, and it all became very unhealthy. I don’t encourage competitions in this way with your friends at all. It will only end BADLY. I’d like to think that I’m the type of friend who always cheers for the success of someone else. It makes me so happy to see others do well!

However, I had to resort to blocking this person on all forms of social media for their own wellbeing. I even cut them off altogether. I felt so terrible, but I knew this was the only way of aiding their mental health. To this day, I still think about this scenario all of the time. Please stop comparing yourself to others! Doing your own thing will be a much more efficient way of using your time, and you will feel empowered to work harder yourself.

What bothers you about what people see on Social Media?

I saw a recent Tweet on one of the blogger chats, and a fellow blogger asked…

“Does it bother you when people have the latest products, look ‘perfect’, and have the ‘perfect’ lifestyle on Social Media?”

I read through all of the comments, and I was very surprised at people’s reactions. This type of conversation has been circulating around the blogosphere lately. However, people need to take a step back, and think “Is this real life?” You have no idea about someone’s circumstance, and you’re only judging it from a few images you see on their profile. It shouldn’t affect your life in a negative way, as not all of it is genuine. However, if it really bothers you, my best advice is to just unfollow the accounts that aren’t helping your mental health. What you can’t see won’t hurt you. Don’t turn it into a witch hunt, where everyone attacks another just because their lifestyle is different to yours.

I’ve seen people troll well-known bloggers, like Lydia Elise Millen, on her Instagram and YouTube videos. The comments are next-level, and are so unnecessary. Social Media platforms, like Instagram, really bring out the worst in some people, and distorts their reality on real life. They forget that real people exist on the other side of the page you just left a nasty comment on.

As Lorna Luxe says, anyone could be “Living the champagne life, on a lemonade wage”. You don’t know what position anyone is in, so invest your time into bossing your own Instagram!

Jennifer Lam from The Confessions of an Online Shopaholic shares the dangers of social media and trolls attacking well-known bloggers, such as Lydia Elise Miller, online.

In Summary…

I’ve tried to condense this post as much as possible, but I have too much to say. I just wanted to say how thankful I am to have the best close friendship group, and amazing blogger friends who always support me. It honestly makes me smile so much when I see screenshots and messages of products and services that my friends use when they see it on my Instagram. These are the friends I wish I could put in a little box, and gift to everyone!

I just wanted to compile a little list to summarise everything I talked about:

  • I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t compare yourself to other Instagrammers.
  • Spend your time more wisely by investing it in your content, rather than focusing on what another Instagrammer is doing.
  • Stay true to yourself, always. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing.
  • There’s a real person on the other side of that Instagram page you’re looking at. If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
  • View other Instagrammers as inspiration, not competition. This will positively influence your progress.
  • Photos are a still moment in time. They can be edited to make it appear more perfect than it is. Imperfections can be covered with editing software, just as easy as it is tell someone that something was ‘absolutely amazing’ when really it was quite the opposite.

Instagram isn’t real life. Just be you!

Jennifer Lam (The Confessions of an Online Shopaholic) talks about the dangers of social media distorting people's view on reality

If this topic has affected you in any way, and you want someone to talk to… I’m here for you! Just send me a private message on my Social Networks below, or e-mail me. I’m always happy to talk to new people!

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9 Comments

  1. May 12, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Oh Jenny, I almost felt forced into commenting on this post! Its so true, I’ve seen so many posts lately relating to championing others and that success doesn’t come by bringing someone else’s
    down! Your post is so relevant to how things are, your right it is difficult not to compare your own life to others especially through perfectly curated flat lays and “honeymoon worthy” holiday photos. But we are who we are and we have what we’ve earned, and to be honest, thats more than enough for me 🙂

    Kylie | http://www.firstforeverything.co.uk

    • May 12, 2018 / 9:10 pm

      That is so true! I feel a little deflated after seeing so much negativity surrounding competition lately. I just don’t know why it’s so hard for others to support each other to help one another succeed, it’s much more fun that way! I wish you could rewrite my entire post for me, you have such a way with words! Thank you so much for taking your time to read my extremely long post, Kylie!

  2. May 13, 2018 / 6:19 pm

    I love your circle theme, Jenny! It is so refreshing and different. You take beautiful photos! I used to stress so much about my photos looking good together and having a perfect theme, but it took up more time than I’d like to admit and was a bit stressful. Now I try to post whenever I feel like it with no pressure. It is also hard to not compare yourself to other people while scrolling through the Instagram feed. There is so much competition! I am glad you wrote this post as a reality check for everyone. 🙂

    Madison | Breakfast at Madison’s

    • May 27, 2018 / 9:56 pm

      Thank you so much Madison, that means a lot to me! I completely agree with you, and your feed is still beautiful! Yes, definitely, I just wish that people could see other’s as inspiration, rather than competition. Thank you for taking the time to read my post!

  3. May 19, 2018 / 3:18 am

    I don’t think many people’s lives are 100% the way it’s shown on IG. I know mine isn’t because I have some self-control when I’m annoyed at something or something didn’t go wrong. It’s okay that you don’t do the typical blogger poses or anything. I actually like your blog and enjoy following your adventures.

    Sometimes, it’s not appropriate to share certain things and we all gotta work hard somewhere and somehow. I respect that you’ve earned your way of living and power to you! Haha, I totally agree with unfollowing accounts that hurt you. I mean I get annoyed when I see someone spamming way too much on Twitter but don’t want to be rude. THANK GOODNESS FOR MUTE?!?! Thanks for sharing your thoughts ♥

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • May 27, 2018 / 10:04 pm

      Yes, I completely agree! But, some people trick themselves into believing it’s all real life. I’m exactly the same! Aww, thank you so much Nancy, that is so kind of you!

      I agree, there’s some things that are best kept off the internet. Thank you! Haha, yeah sometimes it just has to be done, but mute is always a good option! Thank you for taking the time to read it!

  4. sharnahsblog
    May 26, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    love this Jenny, you said so many things i agree with, I think people forget sometimes that social media isn’t real life and we only show people want we want them to see. I will upload a picture I took weeks ago and pretend that I took it there and then when really im a spotty mess in bed hahaha! It is so important for all us bloggers to see each other as inspiration rather than competition! I never feel that I need to compete with anyone but sometimes I do find myself thinking “their insta looks so much better than mine” but I am in a learning not to think like this! A lot of us work hard and hard work pays off in so many different ways! great post and I LOVE the circle theme on your insta xx

    • May 27, 2018 / 10:31 pm

      Thank you so much Sharnah! Yes, they definitely get caught up in it all. I do too, I’d upload photos from months ago, just for the sake of having content to post! Haha, this is why I love reality vs Instagram posts. I 100% agree with you, it’s easy to compare, but when we do our own thing, it’s definitely more productive! That is so true, and I love your Instagram too, your outfits are on fire at the moment!xx

      • sharnahsblog
        June 4, 2018 / 6:33 pm

        yeah that’s exactly what I do haha! thank u hehe!! xx

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