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?