I happened to come across a favourite piece of writing of mine the other day, Obituary: The Sad Passing of Common Sense. I remember my Mother telling me about it a few years ago, nodding along as she read it aloud. It’s continued to stay with me since hearing it all those years ago and on re-reading it, I actually felt quite sad. It’s such a poignant and thought-provoking read:

“…He [Common Sense] will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair, and maybe it was my fault.”

I like to think I have a decent helping of common sense and a pretty sensible head on my shoulders but I also know I’ve been guilty of asking ‘Why hasn’t that success happened to me?’ and declared, on more than one occasion, that life isn’t fair. But that’s just it: life isn’t fair.


With the phenomenal drive in social media and online platforms taking centre stage in the last decade, we have unwittingly created a new generation where many believe every moment we live should be picture perfect and validated by others. The rise of flawless Instagram accounts and YouTubers spending their days opening blogger mail and going out for brunch has led to a misinterpretation of what it’s like to grow up and be successful. I know the hard work that goes into being a successful content creator but to the young viewers and millions of subscribers, it is seemingly a somewhat ‘perfect’ and achievable lifestyle.


Human beings are nosy by nature. I used to love sitting on the top row of a double decker bus when I was younger so I could look into other people’s gardens. Social media has leveraged our curiosity to such an extent that we now have an alarmingly accessible and personal view into the lives of others, making it easier to lose sight of what is tainted, rose-tinted or real.insta4

I’ve noticed that more and more creators are now starting to include ‘real life’ dramas and imperfect situations which perhaps a few years ago they wouldn’t have dreamt of including. Of course, this reality and sense of integrity now makes them much more empathetic and attainable, helping to close that digital gap between viewer and creator.  This certainly isn’t a bad thing, it’s important to highlight, especially to younger viewers that life doesn’t always run smoothly or play in your favour.

Last year, despite a dedicated following of more than 600,000 followers, Essena O’Neill quit Instagram claiming it was not ‘real life’, but rather “contrived perfection made to get attention.”insta1

With so many younger viewers now signing up to Instagram and tuning into YouTube on a daily basis (my nephew is an avid watcher and he’s just turned 7), do we need to be wary of what’s being portrayed? I’m now 27 and I still get caught up in the luxury and lifestyle that those I’m following lead – is this setting a good example for those who are too young to see the bigger picture and understand the increasingly blurred lines between a perfect Instagram photo and real life?

Related Posts