Curated Reality


After watching a recent video Jack Harries - The Stories We Tell, it had me thinking on the reality that we've created online. And by we I mean everyone - bloggers, the casual instagrammer, the ones who have theirs on private, the sarcastic person on twitter etc. For one thing, it made me realize that there is a fourth wall that we aren't able to open - all we see on social media is the user wants us to see, nothing more. When Jack mentioned what we see online is what we've curated for ourselves, it kind of lit a miniature lightbulb in my head. And by that I mean hello social media existential crisis. 

I started thinking to myself when others see my Instagram or Twitter what do they think? What type of person do I come across as? Am I the same online as I am in person? 

I began scrolling through my Twitter account and I can 110% confirm sarcastic me in caps lock most of the time is me in real life. I'm invested in politics and there is a sprinkle of that here and there too. Okay, probably a bit more than a sprinkle. (I'm actually genuinely convinced a few of my internet friends have me on mute because I may clog up their timeline).

If I scroll through my twitter, the politics side of me is there and that sometimes worries me. I put my blog on my resume - of course I did ya girl was not a dedicated blogging cupcake for this not to be on full display - and something I worry about is am I too political? Am I speaking too much about the separation of child & parent and the children being in cages like animals? Will this be the deciding factor of do I get the job or not? But, whenever these thoughts float around in my mind, I remember the quote by Desmond Tutu: If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.


There are some sarcastic - a little bit too sarcastic - tweets that never make it onto my twitter account because there's always the lingering fear of will this hurt me professionally? That's usually when I put the tweet to my drafts and come back to it later in the day.

There's also a sprinkle of coding, running, and a little extra stuff here and there on my account. I'm trying to find a balance between coding, running and politics - still juggling a bit with the evenness of all three but I'll get there eventually.

Next stop, Instagram. Two weeks ago, after scrolling for a bit, I realized something. My captions are full of my personality - I'm pretty sarcastic and always find the humor in things so that was a check in the is-this-really-me category. My fitness photos usually have pretty long captions as I describe the workout I did & my thoughts on progression/building up mileage etc. My other photos - on the rare occasion that I'm not actually in workout gear and someone actually takes a photo of me - this rarely happens as you can see by my instagram account - are me, obviously. All of them are. But not really. There are some photos where I'm gazing in the distance - what's in the distance? Nothing. It's in those posed photos that I don't see me. The squint in the distance? I don't know her. 


Me taking a photo goes a lot like this: Fumbling with my hands, not knowing what exactly I should be doing with my hands most of the time, making awkward expressions because uh wow not sure if I should smile or look cool and stare into the distance. Those photos where my personality was on 110% were tossed into the category outtakes. 

There is a photogenic side of me that kind of exists (maybe somewhere WAY deep down. If inner me can find her and call her to the surface when I take photos for my blog that would be GREAT) and then there's me in my natural habitat being awkward and random at the same time. This video, and the process of me scrolling through my social media accounts, made me realize something. 


Maybe the perfect picture that we want to be taken of us lies in the imperfect ones. The outtakes of you fumbling what to do with your hands, the random facial expressions, the shrugging of shoulders. Maybe those are the ones that capture your personality the way it is supposed to be captured, not ~perfect~ lean to the left, head tilt at an acute angle and hands placed ~naturally~ at your sides.

I've recently been making more of effort to take y'know natural photos of me in my natural habitat. Still have a bit more to go but if you follow me over on instagram, you may have seen a shift in photos I've been uploading. You can be sure to expect some more photos of me cheekily grinning at the camera, shrugging my shoulders, and a sprinkle of awkward facial expressions. All of that is the real me and won't be tossed in the outtakes category anymore. 

So, now I have a question for you! If you scroll through your social media accounts - is that the real you?

20 comments:

  1. This is a really interesting post. Desmond Tutu was right in what he said, and similarly, all it takes is for good people to stay silent. You look lovely and natural in your photos. I think I have a photogenic side, even deep down, but I'd need some heavy digging equipment to find it, haha. And that's a good question you pose about the real you on social media. Food for thought! :)

    Lisa | www.lisasnotebook.com

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    1. Thank you! And yes, that's true; all it takes is for good people to stay silent while injustice happens all around them. And thank you so much, taking these photos were a lot of fun because I was just ~myself~ not trying to stare into the distance or try to get the ~perfect~ photo. You and me both! My photogenic side resides pretty deep inside of me, she may need a few fruit smoothies to make an appearance hahaha

      Thank you so much for reading & commenting!

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  2. This is such a well written and thought provoking post Sahara. You look lovely in your photos and I like that they are natural and relaxed. Have followed you over on Instagram. Thanks for sharing <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Bexa! I've been having these thoughts running around in my mind as tangents for a bit, so glad with the way this post came out. Taking these photos were a lot of fun because I wasn't trying to get a ~perfect~ photo, just being myself and waving my hands as I usually do because I still have not the slightest clue of what to do with my hands haha.

      Thank you so much for following me over on Instagram, I've just followed you back! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❤️

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  3. This is such an incredible post!! I loved reading this. I think about online me and real me all of the time and wonder if it's the same person. As I'm sure you know, my blog on the whole is pretty light hearted so it's more a side of me than the full me but still me? I really hope that made sense. I love the natural photos in this post too x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much Sophie!! I always find myself asking if the person online is the same as in person and if the answer is no, then I try and see what I can do to make sure the next time I ask myself, it's a yes. I totally get what you mean!

      And thank you!! These photos were really fun to take, it was nice for a change to not be full on posing for a photo but just kind of naturally standing there.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  4. I love this! Although I'm 100% guilty of being a perfectionist and wanting all of my feeds to look 'picture perfect' the content that I most enjoy from others is the more relatable stuff. You definitely make some interesting points and I think that making sure we're still US online rather than a false version of ourselves is so important!
    Sophie - https://sophiehearts.net x

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    1. Thank you!! I can definitely relate to wanting all my social media feeds to look picture perfect, one of the reasons why I sometimes preview how my instagram will look like on the app A Color Story to see how a photo will go with my theme that I actually don't even have haha.

      I completely agree - I personally also enjoy content that is more relatable and not really ~picture perfect~. And yes that was the point I was aiming to get across - the realest version of you is the best version!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❤️

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  5. You know, that's a really important question. I don't know if my online me is really "me". I guess to an extent it is but I think there's more to me than what I portray online!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. I totally get what you mean! Personally, as long as what I do choose to put online is apart of the ~real~ me, then that's a definite tick in the is-this-really-me box!

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  6. This is such a great post! I find myself thinking about whether or not the person I am online comes off exactly the same as the person I am in real life as well. Really enjoyed reading this!

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    1. Thank you! Now, I always look at my social media to make sure that the same person I am in real life comes across online. Thank you so much for reading!

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  7. It's important to know that social media doesn't show the whole picture. I know I have to be careful with posting certain things because I don't want to make my employer look bad, invade other people's privacy, or any of the likes XD. We all have problems and some people choose not to share them, which is okay.

    Everyone has their own comfort zone and it's great that you're comfortable with sharing your personality with everyone :). Love the thoughts you've shared on this blog post.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. Yes exactly! Sometimes it can be easy to think oh so and so lives such a perfect life when in reality all you're seeing is 2% of their life as social media never shows you the full picture. I totally understands what you mean, it's always important to use social media smartly so as - as you mentioned- not make your employer look bad or invade other people's privacy.

      Thank you so much for reading & commenting!

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  8. Thank you for sharing this post, it was so interesting to read!

    Alys /alysgeorge.blogspot.co.uk

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  9. "Maybe the perfect picture that we want to be taken of us lies in the imperfect ones." LOVE THIS. Recently I have been preferring the pictures when I am not ready or am laughing or doing something funny with my hands rather than the pose pout hands on hips pictures! I enjoyed reading this, I too worry sometimes about being too political online, my problem is seeing something I don't agree with and getting super angry and calling people out on stuff, but I am learning not to do this because throughout our whole lives there are going to be people who disagree with me, ygm? You look amazing in these pictures though as per usual! I know this isn't an outfit post but I can't help notice how fab the pattern looks with the denim *smirk emoji".https://lifeofshar.co.uk/ x

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    1. THANK YOU

      That was the one line that I now think about a lot when I'm posing for pictures, less posing and more ~real~ me. I definitely relate to you - I've been also preferring the photos where I'm not really camera ready, more like fumbling around and trying to figure out what I should be doing. Like the posed photo is really low on my list of that's the favorite picture of the handful that were taken. The ones that capture the process of me getting to the posed photo always look so much more funnier and more lively.

      Thank you so much, so happy to hear you enjoyed this post! And being political online worries me but on the other hand sitting by while injustice happens isn't really my cup of tea either. And I totally get what you mean! There are always going to be people who I disagree with, the most important thing is having the facts down and presenting them to the person you're talking to.

      Awe thank you so much!! The star print was really calling my name and although they're both the color blue, they worked well together haha!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!!

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