Musings · Public Relations & Social Media

Saturation & Contrast: Filtering Ourselves on Instagram

Social media powerhouse & world’s most influential teen Kylie Jenner recently tweeted, “Instagram is a made up world. I just show people what I want ’em to see. Doesn’t everybody?”. While people may not take Kylie seriously a majority of the time, she definitely has a point. Instagram is seemingly a world of its own; a universe filled with perfectly filtered selfies, landscapes, food and designer #OOTD. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Instagram requires more consistency, curation and cleverness in order to make a bigger impact. That impact is most often measured in likes and comments.

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Kylie has a point

Social media is fascinating; people truly open their lives up to others online. If I could only use one social media platform for the rest of my life, it would probably be Instagram (sorry Twitter). I’m definitely guilty of “filtering” my pictures, meaning it looks like there’s a lot more going on than there actually is. It’s natural that we want to appear interesting and fun both in-real-life and online, and Instagram is the perfect place to do that.

It’s a universal rule that with Instagram you only want to post one picture from a particular event, because who wants to be the person who posts 5+ pictures from one night? That requires us to pick one photo to represent our night, our lifestyle, our personality. We allow others just a single snapshot into our life. Our lives are captured into individuals components, which doesn’t always provide the full and real picture.Capture

This blog post certainly isn’t meant to make anyone feel badly about what they post online, but rather to remember that social media is “filtered.” As Kylie said, “I just show people want I want ’em to see. Doesn’t everybody?” Don’t get down because someone knows how to edit a photo amazingly or it looks like they are doing something awesome every day of the week. We were taught not to believe everything we see online and this goes for social media, too.

For example, maybe someone posts a picture from a family vacation taken years ago, but you think that picture was taken in real time and that they’re currently on an exotic vacation. You begin thinking, “Their life is so interesting, mine is so boring,” or “I don’t travel enough,” and before you know it, you’re beating yourself up over a picture. Perhaps they wanted to post it simply because it’s a beautiful photo or it reminds them of a happy time in life.

I’m asking you to not beat yourself up over someone else’s online life, and don’t put them down for the things they post. Don’t feel pressured to appear perfect online, so much so that you’re not happy in your actual real life. Whether we like to admit it or not, we feel the pressure to create an idyllic online life. Post what makes you happy and remember that everything is not as it seems. And I will try to take my own advice. Happy blogging xx

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