Sinead in the City is your insider's guide to millennial life in Auckland. If you're struggling to pay the bills or find love in the city of couples, you're not alone. Sinead is here to commiserate. Because whatever you're regretting, Sinead has probably done it twice.

In the week since we last spoke, I developed a hideous stress rash on my eyes, failed a warrant of fitness, drained my entire bank account on car repairs, discovered a knot in my hair so matted I had to hack it out with a knife, and accidentally ate an entire chicken liver parfait at Coco's Cantina and had to go home to throw up.

Understandably, I didn't post any of that on Instagram.

What I did post instead was photos of a bunch of free sh*t I got sent, a photo of a lovely dinner party I attended, and a wanky photo of myself doing a #fitspo walk up Mt Eden.

Advertisement

As I'm sure you're aware, Instagram is trialling a new formula in countries including New Zealand, where the number of "likes" a post receives is concealed.

"We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love," a spokesperson said.

"We are rethinking the whole experience of Instagram to address issues around wellbeing and to ensure the Instagram community has a positive experience on our platform."

Unless you have the sunny disposition of shining steel, I'm going to assume that you too are susceptible to feeling quite terrible about your life when constantly bombarded with people's social media highlight reel.

I'm talking holiday snaps of thin, tanned, beautiful people gallivanting across Europe. "Sold" signs in front of Grey Lynn villas definitely paid for by parents. And insufferable "I said yes" engagement pics, weddings, babies, the lot.

I know it definitely makes me feel a bit terrible, but what makes me feel even more terrible is that I contribute to it.

I can't tell you the number of times people say they're so jealous of my Cool Job because I get to write drivel like this for a living.

Or people will say they're so jealous because sometimes I get sent stuff like free crackers, (which I'll share a photo of because I'm broke and I obviously want people to keep sending me free crackers).

Advertisement

Instead of hiding likes, I just think we need to give a fairer representation of our lives - and how utterly, utterly sh*t they are sometimes - because mine definitely is.

In case you hadn't guessed, I'm a huge Brene Brown fan.

You know the one: the Texan research professor of TED talk and Netflix special fame, with the can-I-speak-to-the-manager-Karen haircut.

Brown is all about "vulnerability," and sharing not just the good bits but the nitty-gritty, sh**ty stuff - because that's what helps us bond as human beings, and bonding with each other gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

She says that we're pre-conditioned to hide negative emotions and experiences and that even our gender plays a part.

"For women, it's 'do it all, do it perfectly and never look as if you're working very hard' – which is a disastrous set-up. And for men it's 'don't be perceived as weak'."

Don't worry, I'm absolutely not suggesting we bin Instagram. I think it's a great platform for sharing thirst traps and the like.

What I am proposing however, is Grimstagram.

Picture it: you come home from a terrible day at work where your boss screamed at you, you spilt chowder on your linen pants and you forgot to bring home the Tupperware you stole from your flatmate.

Instead of scrolling through Instagram and making yourself feel even worse because you don't have Tammy Hembrow's arse or Art and Matootle's love story, might I suggest logging onto Grimstagram?

Here, instead of engagement announcements, it's redundancy announcements.

Instead of European getaways, it's stress rashes.

Instead of "sold" signs, it's friends admitting they accidentally spent their rent money on a new Ruby knit and Aperol spritzes and now they have to apply for an emergency overdraft.

Instead of an Ali Express chalkboard with a sonogram and "Due December 2019" Blu-tacked on, It's Insta-stories at Chemist Warehouse, buying the morning after pill because they accidentally slept with That Guy again and the condom came off and got lost like a broken kite from Look Sharp.

Look, I promise I don't want us all to wallow in emo self-pity or Schadenfreude - I just think there's something to be said for sharing our unfiltered lowlights as well as our flatteringly angled highlights.

So next time you go to feel jealous of the free vitamins I was sent, also know that yesterday I dropped a pot plant full of dirt all through my sheets.