In this day and age, Instagram may seem like the be-all and end-all for many. Stressing about getting the perfect picture seems to be ingrained in the average Millennial’s DNA. However, there are dozens of reasons why you should be stressing a lot less than you are about Instagram. Here are a few of them.
A lot of what you see isn’t real
This is probably no secret to you, but it’s important to fully recognize the fact that much of what you see online just isn’t reality. Your favorite Instagram users most likely Photoshop and Facetune their pictures to perfection. If you’re stressed about not being as beautiful as the people you look up to, don’t be; even they aren’t as beautiful as they appear online. Taking it a step further, celebrities and influencers aren’t the only people who heavily edit their pictures. Even your close friends and acquaintances most likely tweak aspects of their photos to look better than they do in real life. It’s unhealthy to assume that everything you see is reality, when in fact there’s nothing further from the truth.
Just because other people’s lives look great doesn’t mean yours isn’t
People’s profiles are often the highlight reel of their life. Most people don’t document their bad days and post it for the public to see. Not only is everything you’re seeing heavily doctored, but people are only putting out their best moments. This may make you feel inferior, or as though your life doesn’t compare to other people’s. What you need to realize is that: 1) nobody’s life is as perfect as it seems online; and 2) just because somebody looks as though they lead an amazing life, that doesn’t mean yours matters any less. A lot of people look at Instagram as an either/or; either that person’s life is superior, or mine is. It can be a dialectic; someone can appear to be thriving, and you can, too.
Likes and followers don’t determine your worth as a person
You might be stressing that your latest picture didn’t get nearly as many likes as you hoped. Or maybe you’re worried about how your amount of followers compares to your friends’ or influencers’. What most people don’t think about is that you’re literally stressing about something that isn’t even physically tangible. Likes and followers only exist in the online world and behind a phone screen. Instead of worrying about how many likes and followers you can rack up, worry about your real-life relationships and interactions. Clout as a concept may appeal to you and many other people, but at the end of the day, likes and followers don’t determine your worth as a person. These are aspects that don’t compare to other immeasurable things; how kind you are, how you treat people with respect, your talents and aspirations. Don’t forget about those the next time you’re stressed about your latest picture.
It’s a contrived platform
Contrived is defined as “deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously.” If that doesn’t sound like Instagram to you, then I don’t know what does. People develop an online persona through their physical appearance and aesthetic. You can become anyone online, and create an image that doesn’t necessarily match who you are in real life. Someone who seems like the coolest person ever on Instagram might be one of the most boring if you met them in the real world. This goes further than how people Photoshop their pictures; it relates to how they create how they wish to be perceived as a whole. If you think about it, Instagram is a heavily materialistic platform that prides people on how they appear rather than who they actually are.