Thursday, 23 July 2015

"Picture Or It Didn't Happen" - The Instagram Obsession

Bit of a rambling one from me today guys but it's something that's been on my mind for a while now. Instagram seems to have completely taken over the realms of social media in the past few years. Don't get me wrong, I love Instagram. I take great pleasure in wasting my mornings scrolling through my feed and I'm one of those annoying people who feels the need to photograph pretty much everything because, Instagram. So what's my problem with it, I here you say? Well...

I feel like we live in a sort of 'picture or it didn't happen' society. By this, I mean that many of us (myself included) feel the need to photograph almost everything remotely interesting that happens in our lives and share it with world to kind of prove that, yes, we do have a life. 

But it makes me wonder if it makes me enjoy things less. Firstly, taking photos of myself - for other people to see - can just make me feel really shit about myself. For example, on holiday, I forced my boyfriend into taking snaps of my outfits every night (much to his enjoyment) and my fun, relaxed "I'm on holiday yaaay" vibe could soon be dashed when I looked at the photo - ready to upload to Instagram - and saw that something was 'wrong' with it. I had a spot or my hair looked shit or my thighs looked big. Because of the amount of seemingly 'perfect' people I follow on Instagram (I'm looking at you Kendall & Kylie) I feel the need to constantly analyse every single photo of myself before putting it up. It's sad, really and, not to mention, annoying. But it makes me realise that if I'm this critical, I'm probably not alone. So, for every selfie Kylie Jenner uploads? Maybe there's enough 20 on her camera roll that didn't quite make the cut, too.

I also think that this need to photograph everything can just get in the way of us actually enjoying certain moments. As if we're more bothered how a moment appears on camera than what it actually feels like to live it, in real life. It's almost like we have to take a photo to prove we really went on holiday or we really did go out and drink cocktails last night. But, sometimes, it's just nice to put your phone or camera away and enjoy the moment and forget about how it will look on camera or how others will perceive it. Don't get me wrong, I love taking photos of places I've visited, the food I've ate etc as it gives me something to look back on and reminds me of all the fun times I've had. But, unlike when you're just taking a photo for your Mum to see, when it's going on Instagram I feel like it has to look a certain way. Reach a certain standard, And, sometimes, I just feel like it isn't worth it. I want to enjoy my pizza when it arrives, goddammnit, not 5 minutes later when I've managed to get the perfect shot with a clear focus and clean cut background. 

Then there's that niggling feeling I get when I look at the feed of those who are living seemingly far more exciting lives than myself. Sipping cocktails on the beach whilst I'm stuck in a traffic jam, showing off their Chanel bag whilst I'm wondering if I can afford rent. It fills me with envy and, yet, I don't even KNOW these people. I've never met them. I'm judging their lives - and deeming them better than my own - by a few photos. Photos that they've selected - just like I do - to show off the highlights of their life. Because, lets be honest, who wants to make their life appear mundane and boring?

So I think I've rambled enough now and I'm just going to finish with a quote from the Insta queen herself, Kylie Jenner: 

"Instagram is a made up world. I just show people what I want em to see. Doesn't everybody?"

Yep, you said it, Kylie. Now I'm going to stop with the Insta envy and remember that a perfect instagram feed doesn't necessarily mean a perfect life.

What are your thoughts? Do you get Instagram envy? Do you think the need to photograph things can get in the way of enjoying life in the moment?

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