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Okie Life

Helping fellow Okies navigate financial life.

Instagram vs Reality

March 1, 2024

It's hard not to feel FOMO when you see influencers flaunting their lavish lifestyles on social media. But behind the ring lights, it's likely a lot less glamorous than it seems. What we see on social media isn’t always reality, but the impact that this curated content can have is very real.

While it can be difficult to keep that in perspective as you doom scroll, we’re here to expose some of the secrets and give you tips to avoid unhealthy habits. Don’t worry—we’re not trying to take you back to the stone age, just helping you create good vibes online.

🚩You’ve Been Catfished

Many influencers often portray a lifestyle that is unattainable for the average Joe. The tea is that many of them are not living the life of luxury their Instagram grid suggests.

Their photo dumps are often highly stylized and edited. Plus, with the power of Facetune, AI tools and private jets you can pay to take photos in front of, it can be hard for even the most seasoned web sleuths to tell what’s real and what’s not. Aside from the few lucky few that are flush with cash, most influencers are regular people with a slightly larger audience consuming their everyday content.

🙅The Consequences of Comparing

While it’s easier said than done, avoiding comparisons between yourself and your favorite influencers is essential. It's easy to fall into the trap of envy and self-criticism when we see others' seemingly glamorous lives. However, no matter how flawless they may appear, no one is perfect.

Just remember, you’re only seeing a small, curated snippet of their life. Even influencers have their own insecurities and struggles. The constant pressure of keeping up a seemingly perfect lifestyle image can weigh on even the most seasoned online personalities. In fact, 47% of surveyed influencers felt that their career has impacted their mental health.

While it can be hard to keep this in perspective while you’re catching up on the latest content, if you recognize any of these tendencies in yourself, we have a few ways to bring reality back into focus.

🥲Sad Scrolling

Have you ever left your favorite app feeling worse than when you opened it? According to a survey of young adults, 67% feel worse about their own lives due to using social media. This constant content loop can impact your mental health, but we have a couple of ways to help curb the negative energy.

✅Take a Tech Break📵

Pay attention to your emotions while checking your feed. If you start to feel down, it may be time to close the apps. Something as simple as putting your phone down and spending time with your real-life friends can have a more positive impact than you might realize.

✅Only Follow Good Feels✌🏼

Another way to curb those feelings is to hit the unfollow button on anyone who gives you the ick. Surrounding yourself with content on your favorite subjects, styles and snacks can boost your brain chemistry and fuel your emotional well-being. Besides, do you really want to see your ex’s new fling in your feed?

🛍️Influenced Spending

Being bombarded with sponsored posts and constant ads can make it hard to avoid buying the next viral thing your favorite influencers unbox. But how much of that content is based on products and services these people actually use? Just last year, $34.08 billion was spent on influencer marketing alone. So, let’s look at a couple of ways to help combat the urge to add it to your cart.

✅Time Can Save You Money⏰

Remember, these people are likely pushing products for their own profit. Rarely is anything worth rushing to purchase immediately. Take some time to read reviews or implement a 24-hour rule before checking out so you have time to decide if it’s worth it.

✅Put the Plastic Away💳

Avoid saving your payment information if possible. One-click payment can be uber convenient, but it can also lead to easy impulse spending. Try keeping your card safely stowed until you’ve finished your scrolling sesh.

💰Be Your Own Cash Money Hero

If you’re looking to avoid the influencer craze altogether, it’s an excellent opportunity to grow your own stash of cash. While there are tons of ways to get started, we recommend strengthening your financial core or maybe brushing up on your money mumbo jumbo. These tools and resources will stick with you, unlike trends that come and go. Realistically, the influencers you see today will probably be replaced by the next generation of viral social media stars sooner than you think!


At the end of the day, social media influencers will still be a part of the online experience, but that doesn’t mean they need to impact your mental health or spending habits. Staying aware of your own tendencies and keeping your head on a swivel for sus content can keep you on the road to reaching your goals.

The information and topics features are for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. All financial situations and circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. Seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, or legal counsel to obtain guidance specific to your needs.