Instagram: it just isn’t true and I’m OK with that

Picture the scene…I’m sitting at last month’s WI committee meeting (have I mentioned I’m in the WI before? Up until last night I was the Secretary of one of my local WI branches but I was voted in as President last night. Exciting!)…anyway I’m at the committee meeting getting my laptop and notebook out and one of my friends said “I saw the photo on Instagram today of your desk. I can’t believe how tidy it was, I wish my desk looked that good”. This is the Instagram shot they had seen:


The truth is that this is my computer, my coffee, fabrics I plan to sew myself, my notepad, one of my many pens and my post-it notes. The whole truth is that this isn’t really my desk; its my dining room table. I do sometimes work here (in fact I am right now) but I usually do my sewing on the dining table because its nice and big, and my writing work etc on the desk in our upstairs office. But the office desk is black and the room is small and quite dark; not so good for the “perfect” Instagram shot. My work space is this tidy sometimes, but more often it isn’t. And my brain certainly isn’t this neat. I am a perpetual starter of many tasks at once. I love a good list (I’ve definitely mentioned that before!) but the truth is I really need them. Its not an organisational tool to be super efficient, its a absolute necessity so my brain doesn’t explode trying to remember what I’m meant to be doing, when, with whom and why.

So we all know that Instagram is square (mostly) but we don’t see life through a square lens, its more of a panoramic shot or even one of those cool 360 photos (which I haven’t yet worked out how to do). Let me show you what you might missing from the wider view. The chaos that is carefully kept just out of shot…temperature-thermometer-before-and-after
Just after Christmas I started my prep-work for the Temperature Quilt sew-along (more details on that here if you haven’t seen the project yet). I needed a photo of my Fabric Thermometer. On the right is the finished graphic which has featured on the blog and Instagram but the other photo shows my “set up”…not exactly the professional studio of a proper photographer! It was a week after Christmas, new toys without new homes, sewing cupboards open, washing basket with no washing (not shock there), random light shade on the window ledge (that’s weird) but at least I had the lovely white dining

I took delivery this week of my new business cards. I wanted to use the same image I have on my profile pictures but they were all square (thank you Instagram!) so I had to set up the shot again. On a dreary February day I needed as much daylight as possible so that meant using the play room and, you’ve guessed it, not exactly a haven of tidiness and
order. As you can see, there is a slight difference between the before and after!

So my point is, like so many things in life (how you live, how you parent, how you look) the version you see online is probably not really that truthful, certainly not the whole truth anyway. Its more like a perfect snippet from an otherwise not-so-perfect day. Don’t get me wrong I love Instagram, its by far my favourite social media outlet, and I find the order and beauty of it quite relaxing and therapeutic at time. But its often best served with a big pinch of salt. Some people’s Instagram feeds may be exactly how they live; a perfectly accurate representation of themselves and that’s fantastic. Let them inspire you to repaint a room, buy a new notebook, bake a different cake, tidy your desk…but don’t let it get you down if you don’t bother. Bask in the beauty and leave it at that.

For a healthy balance of beautiful perfection and not so much, you can follow me on Instagram.

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