Utopian Brunch

Social media has, in the recent years, become a place where we are (seemingly) free to speak our minds, share our lives, interact with friends, and post about the day to day sarcastic mundaneness of our lives. It has, in a sense, completely revamped the way we interact in our daily lives, which I believe has lent its hand in how we think and feel about the way we live our lives both on and offline. Often times I log onto Facebook or open up my Instagram app on my phone. I am inundated by a Utopian scroll through a sea of 1:1 pictures: brunches a plenty, designer lattes, pics from last night. All of these pictures have one thing in common: they are perfect.

Instagram posts morph our day to day lives into an augmented reality that is spiraling out of control. I have friends who have been in some pretty dystopian relationships, yet they still continue to make cute couple-y Instagram posts. Their online presence depicts something much different than their reality. People make posts like this because they are swayed by the Utopian world the internet has paved. It’s as if people use social media as a way to reaffirm to themselves that their lives are okay, when in reality everything is falling to pieces. We cling to these images, feeling even more validated when several hours have passed and all the likes and encouraging compliments and comments are in.

We all create these perfect online images of ourselves. Instagram can be seen as a reflection of what we wish our lives were like all the time, but the reality is that we are humans. Humans are not meant to exist in square images that can be scrolled through. With Instagram-ing we are given the luxury of posting only what we would like others to see. Sure your friends looked adorable in their going out pic, but they only chose this one moment to post. Maybe they weren’t looking so hot the next morning. In this aspect Instagram allows its users to be ambiguous. The more we feed into the Utopian realm of the internet we are creating an even more dystopian internet by choosing to post solely false realities.

I am not better than anyone else when it comes posting what I want others to see. I too post pictures of my “active lifestyle,” Chicago brunches, and of course my new fall boots. I would like to hope that those who know me away from this Utopian online world can see beyond my filtered picturesque life and know that I too am a human with the same anxieties about becoming an adult, doing well in school, and even keeping up with stupid things like laundry! I also hope that I can in turn better understand this reality when it comes to viewing others’ pictures.

As discussed throughout the class, the internet can be an amazing tool, but it can also lead to some pretty skewed images of reality: lest we forget this, may we all remember to question images, as they will forever show one side of a multifaceted truth.

I’ve seen THIS buzz feed article floating around the internet, so I know I am not alone in my love/hate feelings towards Instagram.

Do you feel guilty of posting only the positive things that happen to you?

Have you ever felt less about your self based one someone’s Utopian Instagram feed?

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4 comments

  1. I have definitely heard that people use social media to present the positive aspects of their life. I can definitely understand how its a subconscious action, and is done to make one’s self appear at his best. I wonder how many others consciously realize that this is what they’re doing after posting pictures and statuses for likes…

  2. I definetly think what I see on facebook and Instagram makes me feel differently about myself. Quite often, I will see photos people posted on Facebook of themselves going to parties or out on the weekends. If I didn’t do anything but watch netflix that weekend, I definetly feel like other’s lives are more fun and exciting than mine. But the truth is, I am comparing my lows to their highs and thats not a fair comparision. They probably have boring weekends too but they don’t put those up on social media. It is easy to create a glamorous image of your life online, and maybe that even makes people feel better about their real lives.

  3. One of the reasons I never liked Facebook was how you are able to give a false identity of yourself. I agree with the author that society feels as if we have to give a representation of a “perfect life” or a “perfect relationship” on a social media site in order to impress others. Social media makes lies acceptable which is a horrible value to promote. So, no, I never compared my life to someone else because I know that what people put on their social media site is a false (or skewed) representation of their life.

  4. Instagram really takes the phrase “seeing the world through rose colored glasses” to a new level, you can see the world through multiple colored filters! I really enjoyed this post, I know I sometimes look at my instagram photos for a “rosy” look at my life: happy moments, cute pictures with friends, good food I’ve eaten. I think we’ve all been there.
    I think the point is to not be like those people who use Instagram to get followers and likes, in which case they want this image of their “perfect” life to be praised, they seek attention for that which is manipulated.
    Like other sites, I think the danger in Instagram is that we can start to base not just our photographic skills – but our content of our pictures – based off of likes. For example, maybe a picture of my friends doesn’t get what I deem to be enough likes, does that make it any less valuable to me? I hope not.
    Anyways, good post. I hope it reminds people to use instagram for the right reasons!

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