Joanna Gaines is opening up about the pressures of social media.
In her new column for the Spring 2019 issue of Magnolia Journal, the former "Fixer Upper" star recalled a time in her life when she didn't worry too much about what she posted on Instagram.
"It wasn't so very long ago that I had only a handful of followers on Instagram," she writes (via Today). "There wasn't any pressure to post anything at all, so whenever I did, it didn't really cross my mind whether or not people would 'like' it."
However as the HGTV star and her husband Chip Gaines' show took off and the couple's fanbase grew, the 40-year-old designer started to feel the angst to appear perfect.
"I could feel insecurity start to creep in, and posting a photo was no longer an act of enjoying the in-the-moments of life but rather a more calculated decision," she shares. "With every picture I found myself critiquing if there were messy backgrounds or blurry smiles.
"I think this is how we can end up losing sight of what it worthy of sharing and what is even more worthy than that — moments worth simply experiencing," she continues, admitting that "eventually" she "realized that I was letting this small square on my phone become yet another thing to perfect."
Gaines — who is mom to sons Drake, 13, Duke, 9, Crew, 7 months, and daughters Emmie, 8 and Ella, 12 — went on to explain how "easy" it is to let social media "rob us of authentic moments."
"There is a certain, creepy allure to a place where we can present ourselves any way we choose with very little accountability," she states.
"What happens when we don't think out 'real life' looks as good as someone else's?" Gaines asks. "We make adjustments — find better lighting, dress our kids in something nicer, place a vase of fresh flowers in the background, or add the perfect filter."
So now, when the Magnolia brand co-founder scrolls through her feed, she remembers to keep in mind when "red flags of comparison or anxiety begin to move in."
"My best next step is to stop scrolling and put my phone away. That's way harder for me to do when I'm not in a great place in my head or heart, but continuing down the rabbit hole never, ever helps a thing," she admits.
But, that doesn't mean the mom of five isn't opting to take pictures.
"I love to snap photos of my kids whenever it's physically possible," Gaines shares. "My camera roll is constantly full because of it, but when I hear myself start to say something like 'move slightly to the left' just so I can get the perfect angle, that's when I know it's time to check myself. ... Perhaps I'll post that photo in a few days when I have some distance from it and a fresh frame of mind. Or maybe I won't."