We all know that our social media persona is a very carefully curated version of ourselves that doesn't accurately represent who we truly all in real life. Many, many art projects and videos have been dedicating to driving this point home. Most of us put our very best selves online and leave all the complicated, difficult, and darker aspects of our lives off the internet. But blogger Larissa May would like to change that.
If you look at her Instagram, you'll notice she eats picture-perfect meals, travels around the country, and has a wardrobe that would make any other 21-year-old envious. She also attends high-profile events like New York Fashion Week and fun music festivals like Governors Ball. What you won't see is her 17-hour work days, missed deadlines, rushed meals, sweaty strolls, or any of the stressed out scenarios she finds herself in.
In other words, you won't see the whole truth.
"I hid behind my carefree caption failing to share the truth behind my overwhelming anxiety, sleep deprivation, physical pain and feeling of inadequacy," she said in an essay for Motto. "I wasn't living my dream at all, I was telling #halfthestory."
"My Instagram feed screamed 'superwoman,' " she said. "In reality, I was barely holding it together."
So, May decided enough was enough. While she did have incredible opportunities and plenty of happy experiences in her everyday life, she also wanted to share some of the hardships, too. She started #HalfTheStory, a social media project that gives people a platform for telling the other side of their lives that's not often revealed on their social media channels.
"In a world driven by instant success, we tend to hide behind our social media identities, masking the full truth behind the partial realities we post every day," the project's page states. "Unlike other social movements, we aim to shed light on hidden human talents, ideas, or beliefs that connect us on a deeper level in addition to the struggles that we face."
There's certainly nothing wrong with sharing your very best self with your friends on social media, but #HalfTheStory creates a space where people can go to discuss, read, and share the unseen and often untold parts of themselves.
People have been participating in the project by downloading its logo onto their phone, snapping a photo of themselves holding it, and then sharing their stories. As long as they use the hashtag #halfthestory, people will see their stories reposted on the project's Instagram account.
So far, people have shared stories about their insecurities, social anxieties, sexualities, goals, struggles with mental health issues, and more.
What would you say if you could tell the other half of your story?