Doing everything for the 'Gram.
I've said it before, and I've even written about it before, but I keep coming back to it. Is real life as spectacular as Instagram? I've got a great life. Even when things aren't perfect, they are still pretty good. But then I browse Instagram. Pictures of a semester abroad in London or Paris. Bathing suit pics on a sandy beach in Hawaii. Photos of girls with puckered lips scantily dressed at endless parties with hundreds of other people. Doesn't anyone else have three papers due and two tests on the same day as me?
Prior to going through rush, or as it is now referred to as recruitment, I checked out all the sororities' Instagrams. Those were not the people I met going through the houses. The people I met were much more real and genuine. So I take a look at the University of Alabama's Instagram and my former high school's Instagram. Where are these places? Not sure that they are the places I am familiar with. Now, I stalk my friends' Instagrams. Who are these people? They look perfect, almost airbrushed, with such storybook lives. Does everyone live in picture-perfect vacation mode?
Now, it's time to look at my Instagram. Yep. That's me. Pictures of me with friends or family. Pictures of food...yes, the camera eats first. In this one my hair is a mess, in that one I'm sweaty and my face is shiny. But that is who I am. I don't travel with a glam squad, and I am not always primed for a photo shoot, but I am out there having fun and don't have a problem posting a picture every now and then.
Clearly, I'm different. I often think I was born about 25 years later than I should have been. I don't post everything I do on social media. I don't memorialize my life on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter. Don't get me wrong. I take a ton of photos, but they are really for me. They are to remember good times and good friends, and I share them with my family and friends, but in a much more personal forum.
So, I wonder. Who has it right?
All the people that seem to post everything they do — but only if it looks spectacular and professionally staged and photographed, with thousands of followers or me. I am pretty selective about who follows me, and I have about 65 posts on Instagram. I don't have a pouty facial expression or have a coquettish pose. I never did the duckface peace sign that everyone in middle school was obsessed with. My photos are just me at the moment. I used to get pretty worked up about which picture to post. Was my aesthetic right? But as I get older and more mature, I don't worry about those things. I guess I never did, at least not as much as everyone else seems to. I'd rather be having fun and living life than staging the perfect photo.
And I know these people. I've seen them in real life. This isn't what they look like.
Who is to say who is right or wrong. I guess it just comes down to what makes you feel most comfortable. I wonder if this trend will change anytime soon. It seems hypocritical for society to demand equality without bias or judgment, but encourage young women and young men to objectify themselves on social media in a quest for more followers or to become brand ambassadors to promote products and increase sales. It is a contradiction in mass proportion.
So, until this works itself out, I am just going to keep on being me, living the life of someone in decades past who didn't memorialize a life that wasn't a reality. And for the record. My life is more spectacular than my Instagram. Thank God!