Every year more and more, I notice my friends, acquaintances, and even mutual friends trying desperately hard in their Instagram photos. Now with the summer here and vacations being booked, it seems Instagram has become more of a quiet competition than ever before. From the perfect captions to the perfect arm candy, whatever happened to some good old fashioned fun when we just don't care about anything else but actually enjoying the time.
Now don't get me wrong, I love posting cute photos when I'm on a day trip or week long getaway next to the ocean or amongst dozens of skyscrapers in Manhattan, but that is not my day to day life. However, on Instagram we are brainwashed into thinking our friends from middle school are living these extravagant picturesque lives in the same neighborhood as us…that seems pretty farfetched unless you live in a major city. The truth is, the majority of your friends probably are not even close to being models. They do not have Barbie looking proportions and probably have not even started their real careers yet. However, on Instagram they try to show off their fanciest clothes with the wittiest of captions trying to get likes and to show off to their followers.
Also notice how you NEVER see your followers in the morning with the "no makeup messy bed look" and if you do, it usually is always staged to some level. This is the same for seeing your friends taking most of their photos in conventional places like school or work. That is because we try to fit a cookie cutter standard set by celebrities and fashion influencers to look and act a certain way on social media.
However, that is not what I want to see on my feed and I think it's time we take a step back and focus more on the people and places in front of us.
Of course, there are always going to be popular destinations, festivals, parties, etc. that we are all going to want to be a part of, but we should not live our lives scrolling through unreachable expectations we have made for each other and for ourselves. The fact of the matter is, is that Instagram should be a place to check in on your friends, not a place to silently try to one up them with the more commented on or liked photos.
See, summer shouldn't be about buying the most "instagramable" swimsuits and going to trendy places just for the likes and attention. While I completely encourage taking pictures while you go if you want, you should not make your sole focus of each outing this summer trying to show off on social media to the world. The truth is, life is too short and season change like the weather, so please do yourself a favor and throw on something comfortable and have a good time this weekend. I promise you that you'll thank me later.