You’re always on my mind. You’re the last thing I think about before bed and my first thought when I open my eyes at 7 a.m. to the sound of my alarm. You’re the reason I’m late for work in the mornings and the reason I stay up way too late at night. You challenge me, intrigue me, and downright infuriate me at times, but I know that you have the very best intentions.
Hi, I’m Natasha, and I’m addicted to social media.
Appearances can be deceiving, especially on social media. Between SnapChat filters and FaceTune, it’s hard to separate the real from the influenced. Scrolling through the pages of someone’s strategically planned social posts can often give the impression that someone’s life is nothing but perfection. Although the relationship we have with our partners, friends, and family in real life could be just that, the relationship most affected by social media is the one that we have with ourselves.
As women, we are bred to be our own biggest critics and always push ourselves to achieve what society’s standard of greatness is. Over the years, we’ve traded in our trophy case in exchange for social media posts to publicly display our accomplishments. For some reason, we feel the need to share even life’s little achievements with the hundreds of people on our friends’ list. In order to keep up in a powerhouse world filled with Anna Wintours and Kylie Jenners, our social presence is intended to appear like we have our shit together 24/7. On top of trying to climb the corporate ladder (in heels), we have the added pressure of living our best life on Instagram.
I’m completely guilty of all the downright deadly social media sins. Presenting only my best moments to the world, over-editing photos, obsessing over likes and follower count, scrolling, and refreshing my feed constantly to ensure I never miss a post by any of my digital peers. It’s exhausting.
Do you ever look at someone’s life on Instagram and just think, “HOW?”
How is their life that perfect? How do they have the money to take that trip? How is their hair and makeup so professional looking? How did they get all those products for free? How do I find out their home address so I can rob them blind?
Well, I’m sad to say that this is how I feel almost every day and I’m sure I’m not alone.
After endless scrolling on the daily, I can’t help but wonder how being a stay-at-home socialite who gets paid in the form of lifetime supplies of Flat Tummy Tea actually became a reputable career option. I’d be lying if I said I’d turn down the opportunity to quit my job(s) to post Instagram stories for a living and share my daily makeup routine with all of you. I know some of you moms out there are just dreading the day when your now 5-year-old daughter tells you she’s going to sell teeth whitening kits on Instagram when she grows up. And she’ll probably make six figures doing it.
It’s tough not to get caught up in the idea of becoming a blogger/influencer. Who wouldn’t want to take photos of themselves all day in front of beautiful backdrops and receive endless boxes of free swag delivered to their perfectly decorated houses every week? Anyone who said they wouldn’t is lying. I’ve been just waiting for an excuse to finally purchase that 10″ LED ring light that’s been sitting in my Amazon cart for years, is today finally THE day? (*Spoiler alert – it’ll be arriving in 4-6 weeks).
The term blogger has changed so much over the past decade and has taken on a whole new identity – bloggers are basically the Caitlyn Jenner of the PR world. Once upon a time, having a blog meant sharing your thoughts, feelings, and opinions about what was going on in the world. Now it means posting links to your trendy outfits and having people swipe-up to download your latest presets. I mean, can I even call myself a blogger if I don’t have a Liketoknow.it shop page?
Since I already have a blogging platform I do have a choice as to what I want to do with it. And truth be told, if I had more time, I might actually be using this space to share more of my everyday life and daily musings about the products I love, which I’m sure would be a lot less interesting since I’ve had to pay for them all myself. I once considered opening up my Amazon packages on Instagram live, just so people could relate to actually having to pay for shit. *unboxes a single bottle of Lavender Vanilla Poo-Pourri*
I do feel incredibly lucky to live in the midst of the babes supporting babes era. But I don’t care what anyone says, some women just bring out the competition in you. We all follow those accounts; the ones that are suppose to be inspiring but just end up making you feel like crap. But why are we letting someone else’s perfectly styled so-called real-life get under our dimpled skin?
The sad truth is, although we live in a time of incredible female empowerment and encouraged feminism, we still suffer from the evils of self-loathing which is usually the end result of the controversial c-word: Comparison. We can’t help but compare ourselves to every other woman out there on the gram, living her best life (or the best life she chooses to present). But what we all seem to forget is that even the most un-relatable woman that you follow probably still cried in her car this week, experienced jealousy, or felt that her latest effort to be creative fell flatter than her last flat lay. We are women, hear us
roar over analyze!
The world of social media is so chaotic and turbulent, it can be difficult to block out the noise. I always try and challenge myself to go an entire day off the social grid to see what life would be like to actually eat lunch and not post about it. I’m still trying to beat my all-time record of four whole minutes (longest four minutes of my life). Why is it so difficult to just put our phones down? Is it because we’ll have major FOMO if we miss the latest discount code or don’t share the newest Covid-19 meme before it goes viral (no pun intended)?
Have you ever planned an entire outing, just for the social media opportunity? If so, you and I should become friends, because truthfully, I’m running out of ideas (and money). I’m lucky to have a supportive Instagram husband who feeds into my Facebook-fanatic crazy and humours me every time I ask “can you take a picture of me?” And knows that when I say “a” picture I actually mean 337. I’m sure he’s getting sick of going to pumpkin patches every weekend in the fall and only hiking on trails with Insta-worthy lookout points, but he’ll never admit it and that’s why he gets a pass when he leaves his dirty clothes on the floor EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Relationships are all about give and take. I give him the angles and he takes the photos – HA!
Unfortunately, social media tops the list of one of the hardest addictions to break, especially since it’s now become an important aspect of establishing my career. Businesses, big and small have all switched their marketing efforts from traditional advertising mediums to focus on building a strong social media presence. And rightfully so. Facebook, Instagram, and blogging platforms have collectively become one of the most important components of any marketing or PR plan. Social media has become so relevant for the simple fact that the reach, measurability, and ability to target specific audiences right down to knowing the places their customers frequently eat lunch is as easy as three clicks of a mouse at surprisingly very little cost.
The more I dive into the deep end of digital marketing and what it can do for a brand, the more I become obsessed. It’s a rocky road, but I can’t help but grab the biggest spoon (if y’all didn’t catch that, that was an ice cream joke). It’s funny that my passion for posing in front of a graffiti wall with a Starbucks cup in my hand could actually amount to something one day – even if that thing is just a killer caption. The photo is almost secondary to the caption in my opinion, and don’t even get me started on hashtags. Your photo could be sub-par, but if you nail that caption and hashtag recipe, you’ll be laughing all the way to the post office to pick up more free shit.
Since I mentioned previously that there are some social media accounts that make us feel bad about ourselves (fitness models, I’m looking at you!) I thought I’d leave you with some accounts that do the exact opposite. The women out there presenting their best REAL self on the gram and are sharing their ups, downs, and everything in between.
Top 3 Accounts to Follow Today:
Ok, before you say anything, yes, I do have a biased love of all things Jill. By the powers of influencing I have every Jilly inspired product she’s ever endorsed and has racked up
my credit card to be able to meet her in person. TWICE! I’m almost mad about how successful she is now, only because I’ve loved her since her hot-dog eating Bachelor days. She was funny, relatable, and Canadian and I just wanted to be her best friend so bad. Although her account is filled with drool-worthy, styled to perfection lavishly over-priced fashion and home decor, if you want to really get to know the Jill, just watch her Instagram stories. Watching her chat with her 1 million followers first thing in the morning about her latest project when she went through her “bangs” phase, was just downright hilarious. Every girl who has had bangs can relate to waking up looking like a god-damn peacock. And she owned that shit.
Sarah is fearless. She epitomizes body confidence and is constantly sharing the journey that got her to that point. Sarah is so honest about her past struggles with body image,
eating disorders, bad relationships and she even shares her secrets to looking fab on a thrifter’s budget. She’s not afraid to share even the most horrifying embarrassing moments of her life or talk about the nitty-gritty struggles of being a woman if she thinks it will benefit someone else. It’s refreshing, inspiring, and just plain cool to have someone that is a true advocate for women and who really practices what she preaches. She’s also a huge Friends fanatic, so follow Sarah for your daily dose of blonde ambition.
Lifestyle blogger turned best selling author, Rachel Hollis is known for her book, Girl, Wash Your Face. Rachel is one badass bitch who shows us that anything is possible if you work hard enough and have a great attitude. A true motivator and expert in personal growth, Rachel uses her social platform to inspire, motivate, and encourage being the only way she knows how to be, a no BS realist. Be prepared for her bluntness to really make you want to put on pants and never give up on your dreams.
ok, 2 more…
Melissa Leong – Co-host of the Canadian CTV Talk Show, The Social and author of the book Happy Go Money, Melissa is a boss babe money expert and gives us all hope that we can reach our financial goals. Even if we like to swipe our debit cards like a newly single frat-boy on Tinder. She will even answer your money questions personally if you shoot her a DM.
Taylor Wolfe (aka The Daily Tay) – If you have a love/hate relationship with blogger influencers, you MUST follow Taylor Wolfe. Her ability to make fun of herself is spectacular and her make-up tutorial parodies will make you spit your red wine across the room.