Words by Kathryn Smith

How am I learning to deal with it?

Being 21 years old I am part of the generation that grew up without the over consumption of technology, who remembers a simple life, playing out with friends rather than being cooped up inside glued to an Apple device? I remember life without this on-going pressure I feel in today’s society which causes anxiety and self-doubt. A life without Instagram.

I remember joining Instagram for the first time. It was Christmas 2012 and I had just got the brand new iPhone, I was ecstatic. But I was way more interested in setting up an Instagram account, everyone had been talking about it at school, taking funny pictures to upload and I couldn’t wait to be part of the digital world. The excitement was real. At first it was fun, it was fun to see what all of my friends were up to, nice to admire their pictures of days out, their holidays, their new presents… but as the years went on it started to get less fun. In fact, it started to become quite the opposite.

It seems to be that the older you get, the more pressure there is to have this ‘perfect’ life. As I scroll down my Instagram profile, I am jealous of the Influencers being jetted off all over the world, shooting in hot exotic places, living the ‘high life’. Fitness influencers are posting pictures of their perfect bodies. It makes you feel as though your life isn’t good enough to post or worth the like. That no one is interested in what you are doing. It makes you wonder why you aren’t good enough, no matter how much I try, my ‘perfect’ life doesn’t get any better. Is this reality?

@arianna_ajtar at Hideout Festival, over 1K likes.

I have posted the most amazing experiences, I have travelled, I have been to festivals. I have an incredible group of friends and the most amazing boyfriend. But, posting it all on social media for a bunch of strangers to see makes me feel as though my importance is at an all-time low. Why do the activities that I have done feel so much less worthy of the Instagram post than the influencer who has been to exactly the same place?

@kathrynsmithh_ (me) at Hideout Festival, 208 likes.

This is the sad reality; I no longer appreciate my own life and how lucky I have been to experience what I have. I sit and cry, I worry and I stress about how much life isn’t ‘good enough’ and that I am not at the same stage as others. When in fact, life is what YOU make it and everyone is going at their own pace.

As I get older I am hoping the world of social media will become less and less important to me. The fashion bloggers will grow older and the new ones coming through will no longer be relevant to me and my aging self. Maybe then, when I am not so caught up on the world of influencers, maybe then is when I will find true happiness and self-content.