Whether it鈥檚 a celeb or your old college roommate, it鈥檚 easy to look at someone鈥檚聽Instagram聽account and, scrolling through聽glamorous vacay photos, awesome behind-the-scenes pics聽of their cool jobs and snapshots of their聽dream wedding,聽get sucked into believing that their lives are perfect. Before you know it, you鈥檙e drawing comparisons between you + them聽and you fall into a spiral of feeling not so hot about yourself.

On paper, #girlboss Jen Gotch certainly seems to be living one of those glossy, perfect聽lives. She the founder and creative force behind the extremely cool lifestyle and accessories brand Ban.do, she鈥檚 going to be a speaker at our Re:Make conference in SF happening next weekend (get your tickets here!) and she鈥檚 extremely funny and self-deprecatingly charming to boot. And to make her even more relatable, she鈥檚 super honest about the struggles聽of being the Chief Creative Officer of a startup that鈥檚 seriously blowing up on social media. While there鈥檚 no need to spill your guts all over the Internet, sometimes聽honesty is the best policy on social media.聽Here are some reasons why, straight from Jen.


1.聽Being real on social media聽helps you strike a balance:聽While we know that oversharing on social media is a common issue, many of us respond by never revealing anything that鈥檚 less than perfect. Jen, however, believes there is a balance. 鈥淪omething happened, maybe it鈥檚 getting older, a lot of that stuff just fell off. I don鈥檛 understand what鈥檚 weird or scary [about sharing],鈥 Jen says.聽鈥淚 have such a nice, engaged audience I don鈥檛 have to deal with that much negativity on my personal social media account.鈥 And finding that balance can be really powerful.


2. You can expand (and then reach out to) your support network:聽Sharing honestly on Instagram can be a huge boon for someone who has a safe network and needs support. 鈥淚 think that it doesn鈥檛 feel like any kind of act of bravery on my part, because it just seems like, 鈥榃hy not?'鈥 Jen says. 鈥淭o me it feels like a huge benefit both personally and potentially for the people on the receiving end of that.鈥澛燭hat鈥檚 not to say you need to be wearing your heart on your sleeve. 鈥淭he flip side of that are the people who are just like, 鈥榯oday sucks鈥 and that鈥檚 every day. I could do that too,鈥 Jen says. 鈥淚 posted a picture of myself crying the other day, but I鈥檝e literally cried every day for the last seven days here at work. But I can鈥檛 do that every day cause that鈥檚 boring and one-sided too.鈥


3. Holding back now might hurt you later:聽Sometimes plastering on a smile when secretly something is really bugging you inside is like building a time bomb 鈥 eventually, it鈥檚 just going to just blow up in your face. Jen鈥檚 approach to social media is similar to her approach to聽life in general.聽鈥淲e鈥檙e growing pretty rapidly here [at Ban.do],鈥 Jen tells us, 鈥渁nd I see that if you just don鈥檛 put things out on the table and rip the Band-Aid off in all aspects of life, you pay for it later.鈥 It can be better to just grit your teeth and tell the truth 鈥 you might feel a little bit liberated too.


4. You can聽better inform others: It聽can be hard to remember聽when you鈥檙e looking at聽someone鈥檚 super polished online presence that they have struggles too.聽鈥淚 fall into that trap daily,鈥 Jen says. 鈥淭he one thing about social media is because so much of it is so curated and so precious and so protected,鈥 she tells us. 鈥淚 stopped seeing rom-coms a long time ago because it depressed the crap聽out of me, because I was just trying to measure my life against that and my romantic life doesn鈥檛 feel that way. I feel like there鈥檚 kind of a similarity where you鈥檙e just getting the best bits of everybody鈥檚 experience. It could really trick you into doing some stuff that鈥檚 not half as cool as it seems.鈥


5. You just might be able to inspire others鈥 realistically:聽鈥淭he Internet made it possible for anybody to become a businessperson,鈥 Jen says. 鈥淚鈥檓 a creative. I just had an idea of something I wanted to sell and my brother is a graphics designer and knew coding and he said, 鈥業 can make you a really simple site.鈥 If you didn鈥檛 have the luxury of having gone to business school or any experience, you might think it鈥檚 very easy. It鈥檚 not at all. It鈥檚 a nightmare in fact. There just happens to be a couple of very cool perks that keep you locked in,鈥 Jen laughs. 鈥淢ost of the time, I feel like, 鈥業 wanna tell people this so they don鈥檛 quit their jobs.'鈥 But hey, if you go into it knowing exactly what sort of difficulties await, it just means you鈥檙e better-equipped to handle 鈥檈m.


6.聽You can聽actually聽use it for (gasp!) self-expression: Sometimes, being able to speak freely comes down to expressing yourself.聽鈥淚f I have a thought that鈥檚 kinda weird or controversial or upsetting or emotional, I think, 鈥業 should put that up,'鈥 says Jen. 鈥淏ecause at least I can kind of inform Ban.do from that side, [for people] to say, 鈥楾he person that鈥檚 driving it thinks like this.'鈥 And being able to let your strange, beautiful and creative聽thoughts fly is a First Amendment right you should definitely take advantage of. 鈥淭here are a lot of people who don鈥檛 want that because that鈥檚 not as safe,鈥 Jen says, 鈥渂ut I鈥檓 just not interested in emulating what someone else is doing at their company. I feel like we should do what feels right for us in the moment. We鈥檙e going to try. I鈥檓 gonna try. Stay tuned.鈥

What do you think about Jen鈥檚 approach to social media? Tell us in the comments below!