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…
Such a bad night. Please send tea and funny gifs
— Hels (@thehelsproject) June 30, 2017
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.
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.