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Behind the scenes

With social media ever-prevalent, the lines between online and offline are becoming increasingly blurred. Five years ago, I wrote my entire MA dissertation on how fashion blogs and new media have changed traditional journalism and the way we absorb and share our lives, and it’s even more so apparent today.

I absolutely love having a blog, and sharing snippets of my life on Twitter or Instagram, but that’s just what they are – snippets. I filter things. I don’t write about everything that happens in my life – a lot of it is incredibly mundane, I don’t share all photos of my every day life. Twitter is probably my most unfiltered platform, but even that is still thought-out. What I say, isn’t always really the case. I’m not lying at all, I’m just choosing how I portray myself online…

Online:

Behind the scenes: I’ve spent the night half sitting, half lying awkwardly in the nursery, trying to calm Dougie down from whatever is upsetting him and keeping him from sleep, I’ve snapped repeatedly at Sam out of sheer exhaustion and kicked the door when I’ve tried for the tenth time to put Dougie back down in his cot and he’s woken up straight away. I don’t say that my head is pounding and my back is aching and I haven’t washed my hair or put on any make-up.

Online: I’ll share a photo of the beautiful Peggy Porschen cupcakes and say that after a rough night, I could definitely use a delicious cupcake!

Behind the scenes: Clearly that’s rubbish. What I could do with is a shower, some breakfast and a few hours of sleep, but no-one wants to see a photo of that!

Online: Doing a bit of honeymoon planning…surrounded by autumnal leaves. We all know that no-one tips out their bag and the contents fall out in the perfect flatlay, and that people don’t generally work surrounded by delicately placed (but aesthetically pleasing) make-up, but I enjoy challenging myself to set up a beautiful image, and I think my photography has definitely improved.

A post shared by Hels (@thehelsproject) on

Behind the scenes: I don’t have a good camera or any sort of lighting equipment, and what you don’t see is that I take all of my flatlays on one of Dougie’s blankets on a table near our living room window, and if I’m using my hands in the photo, then my phone is literally balancing on a shelf above me 🙈 Oh, and that appetising looking cup of tea in the shot? Ice cold. Usually been sat there since first thing that morning.

One thing about me, that I think Sam especially would agree with, is that I’m not good at asking for help, and if someone does something for me, I feel guilty until I can return the favour. I’d rather just get on with things and try and do everything myself, but when it comes to blogging and social media, I like to make things look effortless. I’ve found especially since becoming a Mum, I like to feel like I have everything under control. I definitely don’t, but at least social media makes it looks like that is the case…

Some things, I like to keep more (or entirely!) private. I do put photos of Dougie on my blog and on social media, but much less than I thought I would – and I think as he’s getting older, I’m going to stop including photos of him as he grows up until he’s old enough to decide whether or not he wants photos of himself shared on the internet!

I think that more and more, people are becoming much more open online, sharing mental health stories, advice, talking about the things in life that aren’t so happy, which is amazing, because it just might help someone going through the same thing. I want my online space to be a positive place, but that isn’t always me, everyone has good days and bad days, so I want to remember that. I’m not saying I’m going to share absolutely everything that’s happening to me, but I am going to try and be more ‘me’ online.

 

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  • Sarah Pears

    God, I can relate to this so much! The other day I said I was going to a creative station for messy arts and crafts fun, but in reality Oliver would not stop running around and being naughty, so I sat in the car for about 45mins afterwards crying down the phone to Nathan and my parents!
    I’ve also been thinking about how much I share photos of Oliver too… I want to master taking nice photos of Oliver without his face being in them all.. When when he’s old enough he can make the decision of what he’s happy with.
    A great post as always lovely! Sending lots of love to you and the family <3 You're doing amazingly.

    Sarah | http://www.justbuttonsblog.co.uk

  • Steph – Wanderlust Pulse

    I always love your flatlays so I loved this behind the scenes snapshot.

    Everything online is always edited but that doesn’t mean it’s not honest, just that it’s slightly adapted to appear less raw. People don’t need to share the complete ins, outs, nooks and crannies of their life but I always love getting a glimpse into the reality. Maybe its because I’m a really nosey person…

    Steph x
    http://www.wanderlustpulse.com

  • This is a great post Hels!! As well as being so true and honest! You should see the behind the scenes of me and Luc taking pictures half the time and the majority of our days aren’t always exciting and super positive. It’s nice to be able to relate to people on social media, so we understand when people tell it like it is. We also just like to share positivity in the hopes that it can lift others up!

    Kelly
    http://www.theblossomtwins.com

  • Yes! I love this!

    People have a tendency to share the best version of themselves online, after all once it’s posted, it’s out there forever.

    People do have good days and bad days and I think we need to remember this. We get so caught up in comparing our offline lives to others’ online lives that we forget they struggle too xx

  • This is a great post!! I wrote my dissertation on blogging and new media, but from an event angle. It is definitely so interesting to see how different life can be portrayed online, than what is actually happening in real life. It is important to remind yourself that not everything needs to be put online, but also that not everyone’s life is as perfect as it may seem

    Abi | abistreetx

  • Kate

    One of the things I love most about your blog (and you!) is how wonderfully honest you are. I found myself nodding along to every part of this post. I think its so, so important to be “real”. I imagine you have lots of readers of lots of different ages and I think as social media becomes rampant, and as children grow up they won’t know a world without snapchat, twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. it’s so important to keep re-emphasising that what we’re sharing are often snippets and highlights…

    I’m much more filtered now than I used to be, I find myself more conscious of clients, or family or even some friends stumbling across my online projection of who I am, which I suppose is who I want to be too!

    You are fantastic and I’m so proud of this post – I’m also bookmarking it to come back to later when I get a little bit FOMO / down and out when I see things on Social Media!

    Kate x
    http://www.findingkate.co

  • Ellis Woolley

    I actually really enjoyed this post and it was one of my favourites! So real, I think we can all relate to the flat lay situation and almost making things out to be much more chilled and perhaps even impressive than they really are. I would have also never guessed your tea was cold! It looks so good 😀 x x
    Ellis // http://www.elliswoolley.co.uk