Why Instagram Is Not Real Life

Why Instagram Is Not Real Life

It's all about showing off the best moments while ignoring the worst.
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In 2016, 32% of adults and 52% of teens ages 13-17 used Instagram daily. If you wanted to get technical, you could say Instagram is an online photo-sharing site like any other form of social media -- which it is, but let's be honest. If anything, it's a highlights reel and life resume that showcases the best parts of yourself while ignoring the undesirable. Take a moment to reflect on the lengths and measures you (or someone you know) take to create the "perfect" IG persona and consider this:

Imagine a typical "Insta-famous" account you follow (or maybe even your best friend) and you'll see flashy jewelry, an expensive wardrobe, make-up you'd have to sell an arm for, flawless selfies, extravagant food and drinks, a dream-come-true boyfriend, and a slammin' body. You spend way too much time idolizing them and envy their "perfect" life. They have it all. You wish you had their clothes, their looks, their flat stomach. You wish you had a life as fascinating and care-free as theirs. It takes stabs at your self-esteem. You doubt yourself. The endless comparisons steal the confidence and self-worth from under your nose. It may seem as if these people have it all, but they don't. Instagram is not real life.

That adorable and candid bikini picture? Not so candid, and probably took 200 shots to get one "good enough" for IG.

That picture showing off her chiseled stomach? She may not have eaten that day so she could look more slim.

That picture of the 3 dozen roses her boyfriend sent her "just because" he wanted? He got caught in a huge lie and she's questioning their future.

We want to present our best self, I get it. No one wants to post about crying themselves to sleep, their endless depression, or their parents' ugly divorce. Just because it's not being showcased and talked about, doesn't mean it's not happening.

On Instagram, self-love and self-worth come from the "likes" of others, and success is measured and determined by a follower count. We've been met with an obsession for approval and validation, while lacking transparency and authenticity. We are pressured to work angles, pose perfectly, use filters, crop away our insecurities, and Photoshop our flaws to create a reality that ceases to exist.

So just remember, that girl you envy on social media...

...fights with her best friend and boyfriend, too.

...cries about stupid and insignificant things, too.

...eats too much ice cream and peanut butter, too.

...feels insecure about her body, too.

...battles with anxiety and depression, too.

Their online-self is not the same as their everyday self. Learn the difference. Find the disconnect. Discover your true self -- and don't be ashamed or afraid to make it who you are online, too.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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How To Avoid Getting Sick Your  Freshman Year

It's going to take a little more than an apple a day.

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College is the prime time and place to catch a cold... or worse. Although, somehow I managed to crack the code to health and not get sick my whole first year of college. This is surprising considering I was living in the close (and very unsanitary) quarters of a dorm room.

1. Keep your diet somewhat healthy

https://picjumbo.com/healthy-fruits-and-vegetables/

I know how hard it is to eat healthy in college, especially on a low budget. But with the dining hall foods, you can at least include some vegetables and fruits into your everyday consumption. The vitamins in these foods will help keep your immune system up and it will be worth the effort.

2. Try to exercise a few times per week

https://picjumbo.com/fitness-girl-jogging-morning-run/

Even if you're just getting out of the dorm for a thirty minute walk, it will benefit your body. If you decide to up your routine from that, even better! The more endorphins, the more you will feel better inside and out.

3. Cut back on the drinking if you feel a cold coming on

https://pixabay.com/photos/glasses-toasting-cheers-alcohol-919071/

Surprisingly, many college students don't seem to know that alcohol lowers your immune system. Of course, for some people theres no way of avoiding drinking. But if you can at least give your body rest days, it will be extremely beneficial.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier for your dorm room

https://icdn2.digitaltrends.com/image/dehumidifier_hero_1-2-720x720.jpg

I believe this was a very big player in helping me not get sick. The dehumidifier helps reduce dust and other particles in the air. This will help not agitate your allergies and you will feel more clear headed.

5. Try not to share personal products

https://picjumbo.com/makeup-brushes/

Sharing things like towels, makeup, unwashed cups, etc. can all be causes of a sickness being passed around you and your friends. Of course sharing is caring, just make sure it's sanitary.

6. Be conscientious of who you kiss!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/love-people-kissing-romance-18397/

Make sure that your girlfriend, boyfriend, or "its complicated" person is not sick before you're getting cozy with them.

7. Drink lots of green tea!

https://libreshot.com/green-tea/

Personally, I credit green tea and its anti-oxidants for keeping the flu away and even getting rid of bugs that might be forming in your system. So if you feel like you might be developing a cold, chug that tea!

I know how annoying these tips may be. But I promise, if you implement at least a few it could reduce your chances of feeling horrible during midterms in the winter, and sneezing all over your finals in the fall.

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