Diabetes, Filters, and Reality

I am fascinated by fashion and lifestyle bloggers and Instagrammers. I’m talking about the beautiful women and sometimes men who are dressed immaculately, hair and make-up perfect, with gorgeous houses that are beautifully decorated down to the tiniest detail. They post stunning pictures of their morning coffee next to fresh flowers from their trip to the farmers market, their children or pets perfectly posed, babies smiling and always looking adorable, food that makes your mouth water, and views of places that make you want to get in the car and drive there.

I am envious of them and their seemingly perfect lives. Their posts in many ways make me want to be them, or hell, just be friends with them. Their pictures and post present this shiny picture of life filled with beauty, smiles, and a sense of optimism. They are pinterest come to life.

But I know what I am seeing is not reality. Because what we don’t see are the 56 pictures that were taken to get that one perfect one. We don’t see the baby throwing a fit before finally settling down for just long enough to snap the picture before then spitting up on her adorable, probably hand-sewn dress. We don’t see the 20 minutes of staging that breakfast picture, getting the lighting and angles just right as the coffee turns cold. And we don’t see the mess that is hidden out of view.

But we aren’t supposed to. These lifestyle bloggers are selling us on this image of reality, one that is carefully cultivated. Real life is not that neat and perfect. I’m sure even the best lifestyle blogger has a bad day, but we wouldn’t know. Not unless they told us. And that’s okay, because I and countless others enjoy seeing these pictures and posts, imagining a life that is different from my own.

Anyone who uses social media or blogs is in essence creating a version of reality. What we choose to share and not share all help paint a picture of us and our lives to our viewers and readers. When I started this blog, I wanted it to be as close to reality as I could. To me, sharing the difficulties, fears, and frustrations is just as important as sharing the triumphs. It would be impossible to begin to understand what it’s like to live with diabetes without sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. But even then, I do think about what exactly I am sharing.

filterBut what would a filtered view of diabetes look like? I had some fun imagining an Instagram filter of my CGM where the filters would allow you to take the reality of a crazy day of blood sugars and choose a different story to tell. For example, the stabilize filter showing a day of in- range blood sugars.

But it’s not my reality. And it’s not a story that I’m interested in telling. I want people to see the mess, because most likely, they have messes too. I want people to see my imperfections, because we all have imperfections. I will continue to fantasize about the lives portrayed by the fashion and lifestyle bloggers, but my diabetes is and will be filter-free.