This Is What Happened When I Challenged Myself to a Week of Honest Instagramming
I'm Brittney, an editor at Sweety High, and a total social media junkie. I was tired of feeling like the number of Instagram "likes" and "comments" I received dictated how I felt about myself, so I did something about it. I challenged myself to a week of honest Instagramming.
What does that mean?
- I could only post pictures that took me out of my comfort zone.
- My captions had to be brutally honest.
- No filtering or editing was allowed.
- I couldn't delete the pictures I posted if they didn't get "enough" likes.
- I had to monitor how I felt before and after each picture was posted.
Day 1: Honest selfie about daily wardrobe and hair
Caption: "Tbh, 90% of the time my hair is in a top knot and I'm wearing jeans. This is me."
Thoughts before posting: Since this was the first photo I had to take for the challenge, it was def the most awkward. I had just finished a long day of work, my makeup and hair were a mess and let's just say I wasn't looking my best.
I tried to find a white wall and some decent lighting to keep the pic really basic. Captioning it was way harder than I thought. I didn't want people to think I was posting a ~not so cute photo~ of myself for no reason, and I was worried what people would think.
I added the "This is me" portion of the caption hoping people would catch on to the idea that I was doing a little experiment.
Thoughts after it was up for a few hours: Typically I get around 50-70 likes per picture. I was absolutely surprised (and a little mortified) by the amount of likes I received within minutes for this image. The people who liked it were friends who see me regularly and know that this is truly what I look like on a daily basis.
Day 2: Video of me singing/being completely vulnerable
Caption: "I always am a little nervous before posting one of these. But, what can I say, I love singing. This is me."
Thoughts before posting: I absolutely love singing, but I am terrified to showcase it on social media. In the past, I've posted videos singing with my dad while he plays the guitar, but this video was just me and no background music.
I made this video three months ago, and never did anything with it because I was worried that if I posted it two things would happen.
A. No one would like it, and I would look totally silly.
B. People would think I was bragging.
Thoughts after it was up for a few hours: I was so shocked by all of the support I received from friends and family in the comment section. It was very encouraging, and made me feel like it's possible to be vulnerable, raw and real, and receive positive feedback.
Day 3: Honest image of my Friday night
Caption: "Sometimes this is what my Friday night looks like..but ya know, this is me."
Thoughts before posting: Usually I only post pictures when I'm out doing something fun with friends on a Friday night. Rarely do I post when I'm in my PJs watching Netflix in my bed!
I don't post these things because, like most people on social media, I want my life to look exciting and interesting (not dull!). The lighting was terrible, and I wasn't doing anything super fun, so I thought that this picture would not get many likes or comments.
Thoughts after it was up for a few hours: Again, I was totally surprised by the reactions I got to this picture. Nothing about it was cute or glamorous, but people related because it's a totally real situation. I know I'm not the only one sitting home alone on a Friday night – I just might have been the only one who was sharing that!
Day 4: Being honest about what's really in my camera roll
Caption: "How many pictures do we actually take before we decide which one is "good enough" to post on social media? This is me."
Thoughts before posting: Okay, I absolutely hated posting this collage. A few weeks ago, I Instagrammed a picture in this outfit, but I took several (an embarrassing amount actually) of pictures before I got one I liked. I then edited it like crazy and posted it with a quick, witty caption that made it almost seem like it was candid. These were the reject pictures in my camera roll, so I was not at all excited to show the world.
Thoughts after it was up for a few hours: I got a ton of likes within the first hour of posting this pic, and I was beyond confused! After reading the two comments, I had a feeling that people weren't actually reading my caption, they were just looking at my outfit. To me, this picture was an embarrassing collage of bad photos, to my followers it was just another picture showing off a cute outfit.
Day 5: Being honest about how much time I spend away from friends
Caption: "Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with friends, but I spend sooo much time with my family. I may not post about it often, but the majority of my weekends are spent with them. I wouldn't want it any other way. This is me (and my very cute mom)."
Thoughts before posting: This was the photo I was least embarrassed by, so I really didn't feel any nerves posting it. I love my mom and whole family, I just don't post about them on social media as frequently as I post about my best friends.
Thoughts after it was up for a few hours: People must love my mom, (I'm not at at all surprised) because this post got the most likes! I think more people spend time with family and loved ones than they may want others to think.
Day 6: Posting a picture where I don't like how I look but everyone else looks great
Caption: "I purposely didn't post this picture a few weeks back because I didn't love how I looked in it. Isn't it kinda funny how we initially only look at ourselves in pics? Yikes. Well… this is me."
Thoughts before posting: I absolutely did not want to post this. Minutes before it went up, my best friend brought to my attention that the only reason I wasn't excited to put it on Insta was because I was looking at only me, not the group at all. Guilty.
Thoughts after it was up for a few hours: Although I wasn't initially thrilled to post this, I was glad I did. This picture captures a great night and a fun moment – I shouldn't have let my own personal insecurities stop me from sharing this.
Day 7: The final day, posting a picture with absolutely no makeup on
Caption: "I've never posted a picture without a stitch of makeup on. But guys, this is what I actually look like when I wake up. This is me #nomakeupselfie #iactuallywokeuplikethis"
Thoughts before posting: I knew when planning out this article that my final picture would be of me with no makeup and no filter. Totally raw (and totally scary).
Even though the goal of this picture was to show me looking as natural as possible, I still found myself taking several photos and testing out different angles. I wanted to be natural, but present my best self. I was still thinking about what others would think.
Thoughts after it was up for a few hours: This post gave me a new sense of confidence and self-worth. I was so amazed by the support I got from some unexpected people. It was weird but oddly comforting to see people who never like my posts liked this post. Being told I was beautiful in this state, was pretty incredible.
- I am my biggest critic! People enjoy seeing photos of the real me. Makeup or no makeup, my true friends are always going to like who I am, inside and out.
- Sadly, the amount of likes I get on a photo does affect how I feel about it. But it shouldn't! We should be posting photos that we like, but that does not mean that they have to be edited to the extreme or that they don't represent our true (and amazingly awesome) selves.
- Be authentic. Although I was scared to share my singing video, I'm glad I did. It's something that I love doing, why should I care what others think?
- Most importantly: Don't let social media rule your life. What people see of you online is not always who you truly are. Easier said than done, but be you at all times, even on Insta.
Inspired by my no filter, no makeup Insta? Then you're going to freak when you see Demi Lovato with the same #iwokeuplikethis look HERE.