#HonestOctober — Year 2

Last year, we decided to start a little Instagram project for the month of October called #HonestOctober. We realized that much of what is posted on social media for everyone to see is framed in a way that the context is removed and what is left is meant to sensationalize the one doing the posting or the situation that she or he is in. We see so many people doing so many fantastic things all of the time and we just want to seem equally fantastic. It becomes a sort of competition. With whom are we competing? Ourselves? Our friends? A bunch of people we follow on Instagram that we’ve never met? Maybe we’ve just lost sight of what exactly it is that makes life extraordinary.

We’ve all been there. THEY get to be wild and carefree, living life on the open road. THEY get to travel the country getting paid to photograph incredible things that you’ll never get to see. THEY have the most amazing looking kitchen that’s always clean. It could even be as simple as being inundated with your friends’ super cute baby photos. I mean, your baby is cute, too, right? YOU want everyone to see a video of YOUR baby tasting a lemon for the first time, right?

Rebecca Lammersen wrote a great article about envy and social media called Please Don’t Envy Me: The Facebook Status Everyone Should Read. And you should read it. I thought that it captured the essence of #HonestOctober pretty well. In the article, she writes:

We have fallen prey to the delusion that every one else’s life is happier than ours, more productive and even more valuable.

We forget. We forget that there is something greater that dwells amidst the accolades, the trips and the fancy meals — the every day of life.

We have and we do.

Zack Arias recently posted a beautiful photo of his wife, Meghan, while they were in Paris with a caption that shared a similar sentiment:

I know our social media feeds look like we live this amazing life. Oh look. I have a new camera. Oh look. Here we are in Paris. What’s not on this feed is our struggles. Our pain in missing the point with each other. Our bank balance. Our sight of seeing a path that we can’t take. The regrets for lives we didn’t live in our youth.

Keep on posting the photos that you’d normally post, but throw in some others that add a little context as well. Share the things that make your life what it truly is. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to be well-lit. It doesn’t have to be cropped in so you don’t see the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Just be honest.

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