As most of us I like to matter, I want my portion of acknowledgement and some patting on the shoulder everyday . It is only human and nothing to be ashamed of. My virtual life is based on Instagram and a little on Facebook as well. I am not afraid to share and I am aware of the fact that when one shares one can get feedback either positive or negative. All is good.
But is it really? What if we share and little by little we notice that the sharing is conditioned? That even when we think we are sharing that true and authentic self, we only share what we are sure of will be liked? We (over) style it a little, shape, crop, and heck, even make a little more dramatic then it really is because that just makes the picture. And even that I think is normal, we all know media is censured in one way or another. Or does social media have to come with a warranty that claims you might be exposed to fake and surreal picture perfect lives? Because maybe, just maybe we like the escape out of our manic and busy lives and put up these little perfect squares to let ourselves belief all is good. All is perfect. It must be. Right? But what if it isn’t?
In November 2015 I took a break from my Instagram account because I could just not fake it anymore. I felt overwhelmed by the increase of followers and sometimes even the lack of that. Also, I felt pressured of the expectations of that new post; Will there be enough likes, will I loose followers? Will it get me a hundred new followers? It was never enough and never good enough. Instagram was taking control over my life.
The account was based on my doll making with a twist of life style. After all, as my husband told me, they do not just want to buy a doll, they want to buy a piece of you. A piece of your life. I used my daughter and all the activities we did together to get that lifestyle image picture perfect. Leaving no space for spontaneity. I did not just wanted to do stuff with her, I wanted to do those things AND get that picture perfect. It was at the time I lost my baby I realized I needed space in order to feel what was really happening inside of me. I needed to put away that phone and live. And that is what I did. Pretty radical. I deleted the account.
At first I was scared but it also felt liberating and refreshing not having to keep up with something I profoundly did not want to keep up with. I started seeing things from a different perspective again and we had activities without the interference of a camera and it was lovely. I came back to myself and became stronger (of course this had not only to do with the telephone but with many changes at that moment) and with the bloom of spring I felt it was time for me to get socially active again. Because I do love to make pictures, I love to collect and organize. I am a visual artist after all. So here I am Instagramming away again. Snapping pictures and arranging picture perfects once again. The only one big difference is that I now know that Instagram is NOT me. It is not my life, I am not Instagram. It is just something that I do and yes maybe still a little too much but hey, one step at a time.
For me minimalism isn’t (only) in how much you possess or not, it more has to do with being really conscious about how your possessions and your actions make you feel, how they serve you. So I try to ask myself every time I post something: “does this make me happy? Is this what I want to post?”. “Does this serve me or does it make me feel unhappy?” And although I do not always have the answer, I am being mindful about it. Every step of my (virtual) way.
Thank you for reading,
You can find me on Instagram
And on facebook
Also please take a look at this interview with Cameron Diaz