Gosh, Jessica. You’re a terrible Instagram-er.
You don’t post pictures enough. And when you do, you always pose the same way: smiling. No candid laughs, or serious model faces. Can’t you be a little more diverse? *SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL* Like her! She has the Mona Lisa look down PAT. *LIKE*
Your pictures are obviously taken with an old IPhone. Yuck. The lighting is bad. Why haven’t you gotten a phone with a better camera? People will think you can’t afford it. And by the way, none of the 20 selfies you just took made the cut. So just delete them all. Right now. Go. *SCROLL SCROLL LIKE*
Good gravy, could your life be any more boring? You don’t have enough pictures of mountains or beaches! I mean your little day trips across pancake-flat Kansas are hardly intriguing. *SCROLL SCROLL* Why can’t you take vacations like they always do? *LIKE LIKE*
You don’t have artistic pictures of your house…I know it’s hardly clean, but you should really take a picture of when it is so people can see it. Or wear cuter outfits…and where’s that swimsuit “bod” and flawless face makeup? All the best Instagram-ers have at least two of those a week. *SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL* I mean, look at her skin. I wish mine looked that way. And how come I can’t get my hair to do that? *SCROLL SCROLL LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE*
Oh, and only 23 people liked that last picture you posted so you should basically just stop instagramming forever.
Maybe I’m the only one who’s had these thoughts (slightly exaggerated as they may sound). If so, that’s okay. This can just be my very honest and embarrassing confession. But maybe I’m not the only one. Maybe these same thoughts have drifted across your mind once or twice.
As I promised earlier, here’s my point… and one that took me too long to realize: if all of those things make me a “bad Instagram-er” (whatever the heck that even means), I’m glad I am one.
For as silent as scrolling down your feed and hitting the “like” button is, it sure screams value in our society. But why should I want that? Why should the pictures I post be the standard of how likeable my life is?
Maybe I don’t post a lot of pictures. Who cares? That’s usually because I’m spending time with the people I love and not thinking about my social media account. And I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars just to buy a new phone with a slick camera. The one I have works just fine!
Yup, Kansas is pancake-flat. And I’d be a liar-liar-pants-on-fire if I said I didn’t want a beach vacation three times a year. But my sweet husband plans those day trips for us, and they are some of my most precious memories with him.
Last but not least, me. I don’t have flawless skin. My hair is not always done. I don’t have a particularly attractive laughing face, and unfortunately for you, my duck-face is only sub-par. Most of the time I’m wearing whatever is clean and within arm’s reach. So I’m sparing you from having to look at some of those outfit choices! And I think smiling is a pretty good way to take a picture. That’s the reality of my everyday life. So why would want to advertise it any other way?
I hope you won’t take any of this the wrong way. Not a word I’ve said is meant to discourage or judge. I’m mostly just preaching to the choir. You can post however much you want to. You can take whatever pictures you want to.
But be wary of the constant perfection you see; behind every perfect picture is an imperfect person.
Thankfully, we don’t have to be perfect. Our Creator and Savior is the only perfection we need. If he loves us so unconditionally, then we should learn to love ourselves too. Psalm 139:14 says “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” I confess my recent scrolls through Instagram haven’t filled my heart with praise, but with comparisons and discontentment. And that needs to change.
So dear self, stop trying to put your best photo forward. It ain’t worth it. Be you, be real, take the picture, and if you and your Creator are the only ones that like it, then that’s perfectly okay.