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The 2018 stories

Shay Mitchell's Instagram story is a stark reminder of what's hiding behind the highlight reel

‘We seldom really know the struggles.’

IF YOUR SOCIAL media feeds have been anything likes ours, it’s highly likely that you’ve been given a blow-by-blow of the previous 12 months by more people than you care to count.

Collages dedicated to 2018 have punctuated most social media platforms this week while innumerable Instagram stories have been transformed into personal Reeling in the Years style uploads over the course of the last 72 hours.

If you found yourself vaguely nauseated by the litany of ‘epic moments’ you were subjected to in recent days, you’re certainly not alone. 

While the vast majority of us know that Instagram is little more than a minuscule snapshot into a person’s life – delivered through the most flattering filter they can find – it can still be hard to stomach at times.

Indeed, how many of us cringed when considering how feeble our highlight reel might look if compared to others, despite the fact we considered these moments worthy of the initial posts throughout the year.

A little perspective is always vital, but it’s considerably more helpful as you face into a new year – something Pretty Little Liars actress, Shay Mitchell, attempted to provide her followers yesterday.

2018 E! People's Choice Awards - Arrivals UPI / PA Images UPI / PA Images / PA Images

Like millions others on Instagram on New Year’s Day, Shay chose to reflect on the previous 12 months.

Her Instagram story was awash with snapshots of a life punctuated by exotic vacations, glamorous events, and a level of privilege millions can only dream of.

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Indeed, with a story, whose uploads numbered in excess of 60, Shay’s highlight reel could have been considered among the more obnoxious of the new year had it not been for a poignant message delivered at its culmination.

Just four uploads from the end, the 31-year-old actress shared an image of an ultrasound alongside a broken heart emoji, and reminded her followers that behind every seemingly enviable moment lies struggles and challenges we choose not to share until we have processed them, if ever.

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We all have to deal with various struggles and challenges in life. And sometimes it’s easier to only showcase the good times on social media, which is what leads many people to criticise it for its lack of authenticity.

Shay paid tribute to the support her followers consistently show her, and told them that their presence did much to buoy her during one of the most difficult periods of 2018.

The support and affection that so many of you show me lifts me up during even my darkest days, one of which happened last year after I miscarried and lost the child of my hopes and dreams.

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Disdain for the sheer number of highlight reels many of us have felt compelled to watch or, indeed, avoid in recent days is understandable; it can seem narcissistic, insensitive and, at times, pretty obnoxious.

It is, however, worth remembering that for every #grateful and #blessed you have endured in recent days, there are myriad moments that were purposely hidden, but ultimately deserving of so much more attention.

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