How many times a day do you go on to Instagram and see a photo of someone else’s seemingly “perfect” breakfast, holiday or a new car? How often do you wish that was your life?
Upon reading an article by the Telegraph recently, it came to my attention that perhaps, and I hate to break it to you, Instagram really is all just one big lie. It doesn’t seem to be just me who thinks it. The article highlights the expectations and realities of the “perfect” Instagram post which is quite funny really and sheds a light on why we should always take everything we see online with a pinch of salt. I found this quite interesting and to some extent, it annoyed me that people feel that they have to put this much effort into making themselves appear digitally perfect. But then I realised that maybe we’re all guilty of doing it. Here is the proof that Instagram is a lie.
Let’s face it, we all do it.
I am certainly no stranger to choosing the “perfect” photo for my Instagram feed. In fact, I would be lying if I said I didn’t take close to 50 photos at a time, each one barely any different from the last but probably choosing photo number 34, just because the lighting was only slightly better than the one before. Why do we do this? Why do we spend so long worrying about what we look like to random strangers online?
As much as we probably like to think we don’t care about our Instagram feed all that much, I think it’s safe to say that we all actually do in one way or another. It’s interesting to see people’s choices of photo, filter and even captions when it comes to Instagram. Have they gone for a dark or light theme? Colourful or minimalistic? I sometimes think an Instagram theme can show a lot about someone’s personality, especially when they’re using Instagram to make their life seem significantly more exciting than it really is.
Instagram liars are more common than we may have thought.
We all have that one friend who likes to act Instagram famous, even though we all know they’re really not. To the untrained eye, they seem like the type of person we would definitely want to be and sometimes it can be hard to break away from feeling inadequate compared to them. I think, despite this, it is important to remember however that we know this person in real life and in fact, they’ve just got over the flu and had to miss that festival or they just lost their job and had a break down at the tube station on the way home. Is this the life we are envying? Of course not.
We only ever seem to envy the parts of their lives they choose to share through carefully selected and edited photos on their Instagram feed. Surely this evidence alone is enough to convince us that Instagram is a lie. Although, somehow I can imagine we’ll all log straight back on later and continue to worship that person with the ideal life.
So how do we work out when someone really is just exaggerating about a mediocre event that happened?
This once seemed impossible to answer until recently I noticed that some of my friends had started to make second “private” accounts on Instagram. Their usernames would usually just be their name backward and posts would frequently consist of hideous mugshot style photos from their messy night out last week. This would drastically contrast to the photo they posted of the same night on their main Instagram of them and their bestie holding incredibly expensive cocktail glasses, complete with the caption “Girls night ?”.
Instagram Liars are posing a real threat to the younger generation.
Although the idea of someone trying too hard to impress other people online is probably quite comical to most of us, we need to also remember the implications this has on a lot of social media users. This is especially important for Z-gen kids who know nothing better but to be influenced by these apparent “perfect” Instagram users.
So, maybe its time that we stop looking at our favourite Instagrammer’s lives in awe and jealousy and start upping our own Instagram game. Because their lives aren’t perfect, but we can try and make ours look better through a photo on the feed.
I’d love to know what you think of the way others, and yourselves, use Instagram to portray your lives. Leave a comment to get involved in the discussion.