Social media in general, tends to culture the belief in us that other people have their lives all together. Beautiful spreads of food, made up faces, cloudy skies displayed through a filter, they are all lovely beautiful moments in people’s lives that we get to see. The thing is, there’s always so much more to the story.

This past week and even the week before have been really rough for me. I have had very limited interest in anything at all and my work/life balance is tremulous at best. I struggle to find and cling to the beautiful in my mundane let alone accomplish basic requirements of being a functioning human.
I thought about posting a beautifully edited and put together picture of my first and closest attempt to a charcuterie or snack board, complete with some kind of witty weekend caption on Instagram today. The truth is that I was so tired and brain fried yesterday that I didn’t eat dinner, went to sleep late, stayed in bed until 1pm today, and then didn’t eat that pretty plate until about 2:30pm after a decent amount of frustration creating it. I’m not going to detail the level of tired I am but I can’t pretend that my weekend has been full of productivity and relaxation.

Writing this is not for anyone to feel bad for me. It’s my responsibility to better my own life. I’m writing this so that the beautiful aesthetic and happy things I try to bring to light on my social media don’t fool you into thinking that I’ve got it all together. Don’t compare your life to what you see of anyone else’s because so many times it’s not the full picture.

Reframing my perspective of life is a constant area for potential growth and being honest about things that aren’t pretty, inspiring, or exciting, is not comfortable for me. Also, not every happy or beautiful thing in life needs to be documented and shared to social media. It’s entirely possible to cheapen your own real moments by thinking instead about how to prove to the internet that your life is enviable. Really, I’m reminding myself. I don’t know what your experience is.

What are your thoughts on the “instagram lie” or this new version of keeping up with the Joneses? Do you find yourself trying to find things for social media to paint a pretty picture for your life instead of actually enjoying them? Would you prefer the glossy, happy version of life displayed at all times?

What do you think friends and strangers?

The chocolate hummus? Surprisingly good.

If you are trying to take care of your body but also want chocolate, I definitely suggest the easy recipe for chocolate hummus I made today. It’s over on thegutnursery.com as Brownie Batter Hummus.


  1. Kent Ostby says:

    So many thoughts here.

    1) Thank you for posting your “lament” for us to see and agree with. This realness is what we do need more of. No one has it together. I know some super together from the outside people and most of them struggle with either anxiety or depression because their level of keeping up is even higher than most people’s.

    2) I often want to take selfies with my wife when we are out to eat so I can post them on SM but she doesn’t see the point of that so it even can create conflict in another wise great moment.

    3) I think about, as a writer, how hard it is to project my wonderfulness onto Instagram while the artist displays their painting or photo and the athlete posts beautiful scenes of natures.

    4) I will say two positive things though a)SM gives people an opportunity to let you see them as they conceive of the their best intentions and there is some truth in that. It is not the truth of each moment, but it is a vision of their hopes for themselves. b) SM allows us to capture slices of life. Yes they are our filtered, best slices but they are still an aspect of real life. Your chocolate hummus may not reflect how the weekend felt, but the picture above let’s us capture a small slice of Stephanie the Gourmet.


    1. Thank you for your in-depth reply.
      The amount of people struggling, who put on a good show otherwise can be surprising to some. Hearing about other’s mental health and personal difficulties after opening up to them, is reassuring in a world that stigmatizes such things even still.

      I do find that I take pictures of many things and usually it is with the motivation to remember it and highlight it as a good moment. Recently though, I had to reassess my mindset, realizing that it was hindering that thought instead of helping.

      Yes, different mediums for different ways of communicating our talents. I suppose it depends on whether your Instagram is more of a personal account or professional platform too.

      Definitely! I’ve always liked finding the most beautiful and happy things in my life to document. It’s a balance of acknowledging that it isn’t the full picture yet, a true part of life to be grateful for.

      Much thanks for your encouragement and weighing in on the subject. It’s much appreciated.


      1. Kent Ostby says:

        No argument about the unknow many who are struggling. Certainly don’t want to understate that for sure.


  2. Juyo says:

    Hahaha your post hit home.
    Lately I often catch myself thinking “hmm I should post on Instagram already. It’s been two weeks since my last post and so on…” Trying to find “witty” comment too, or whatever, so it doesn’t look like I’m totally drained with work/personal-life in general. Fact is, we don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Entire Instagram is like 80% built on lies, hidden or not so hidden commercial and pretty-filter pictures. And as far as I remember nobody is paying me a measly penny to worry about how regularly I’m posting or not.
    Furthermore the sad fact is, that most of the people on their fast-paced-life-track simply don’t care.
    Reminded of all of that, enjoying real life the way it feels good for you and seeping until late doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. 🤷🏼‍♀️


    1. Thank you for your comment Juyo! I was nervous to post this so your words are encouraging. I hope your work and personal life let up on their drain soon!


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