Out of all my social medias, Instagram is probably the one that I post on most frequently on and yet, it is probably the one that accounts for the least accurate representation of who I am.
I am one of the many who continously try to emphasize that Instagram isn't real. The things that are posted on instagram - even if they are not actually facetuned - do not actually show you what is going on in a person's life. It's the highlight reel. What else do you really expect from it I guess? Why would you post the bad stuff?
I guess that other social channels face the same problem. People tend not to share the less "aesthically pleasing" parts of their lives. Which is all fine in my opinion. But when it starts to affect the way you think, and if you for one second start to think that all of it is real, and that this person's life is truly way better than yours... That's where the problem lies.
I have fallen into the trap that instagram poses so many times. Time and time again I find myself scrolling through the feeds of all these perfect models accounts, zooming in on their pictures, looking for their imperfections; only to be greeted by smiles and OOTD's. Not a flaw or tear in sight. Without you even realizing it, it can start to get to you and it can shape your opinions about yourself and your surroundings.
I can admit, it happens to me all the time. Of course, I bring it upon myself by following the epitome of the manufactured "Instagram Model" types. Yes, they are real people, but they are not emulating a 'real persona'. I obviously don't know them at all - but I wonder do they live up to the persona that they are exuding.
I wonder do they edit their photos to make themselves feel better. Or even if they are unedited, and are an accurate representation of their bodies (for example), or are they an accurate representation of what is going on that situation. I can almost guarantee that they do not.
Most of these "Insta Models" that I am referring to (and I wonder would they classify themselves as such) are American and are living a completely different life to myself. But there are a few bloggers, with instagram accounts, that I have met in person, who by no means live up to these internet images of themselves. I once encountered two (quite elite) bloggers standing outside an event trying to get a picture that would best exude these personas. A picture that may make their followers think that they are just these amazing people - but in reality, they didn't want to speak a word to anyone who had less followers than themselves. It was an experience that really made me question my involvement in the industry at all; but since I am aware of it, I can hope that I will never become such an individual.
I hope you don't call me a hypocrite, as my own instagram is of course another representation of a 'highlight reel'. So for the purpose of transparency, let me talk you through a couple of my own posts. Because, in general, my instagram kind of emits the idea that I am the most confident, self involved and selfie obsessed teenage girl. I hope that if you are in fact on my blog, or know me in person, that you know that this is not true. I am actually quite an anxious, sensitive and often quite fragile human girl with feelings.
I think that in many respects, my Instagram is quite harmless, once you know what you are dealing with. I tend to try and do the balancing act of having an account that I my friends can all look at and interact with and also have an account that I can use to blatantly self promote myself on for my blogging career.
Just be careful on that app. It can sometimes be a deep dark hole, and I hope that I have shed at least some light on the situation, because it is the BEST BITS of a person's life and everything is truly not what it seems.
Also - I decided not to cover how Instagram can give us (young girls in particular) a warped image of how we are supposed to look. Whether through editing or not, the 'perfect' body image projected through instagram is one to be questioned. But - that is a topic for another day.
(Oh and you should totally follow me, obviously...)
*I am not attacking those who have posted the images that I have included in this post - but thought that they would be a visual representation of the type of insta shots that dominate my feed.