How to: Post an Instagram
1. Crop your photo so the chubby part of your arm doesn’t show
2. Adjust brightness, warmth, and saturation. I am so pale.
3. Scroll through filters. Scroll through filters again. Can’t decide between Valencia or Walden…
4. Screenshot them both so you can compare side by side.
5. Finally decide Walden makes your eyes look bluer.
7. Check phone every 5 minutes anxiously making sure people have liked your photo.
Let me be frank, why does Instagram have everyone feeling so acca-awkward? If it’s been two hours and our ‘gram doesn’t get as many likes as we think it should, we take it down. We are so insta-conscious. C’mon! Since when does everyone need such social reaffirmation (insert sassy, pink-shirted emoji girl here)?
Let’s take some time to laugh at ourselves.
Never have I ever took a photo down because it didn’t hit double digits. Never have I ever spent 10 full minutes editing a photo just to decide not to post it. Never have I ever looked at my high school cousins’ posts and thought OMG, how do they get 100 likes?!
Three fingers down? Yup, thought so.
Even the coolest people you know via social media are lame. We look at their posts and think to ourselves, they live such a cool life, but when you see them in person, there’s no room for actual conversation between phone-buzzing text messages.
@socialsarah just tweeted you: “Loved catching up with @blancblog today!”
…Uh, I’m sorry, did we really? Or was I just spacing out in that conversation…?
If something makes us seem more interesting, we post. If we’re wearing a cute outfit, we post (okay, I get that one… I hate to waste an outfit…). If something will get the cute boy to notice us, we post. It’s as if we’re living our lives to post.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” A photo can very powerfully provoke immediate social comparison, and that can trigger feelings of inferiority (The Instagram Effect). This social comparison is stronger than one that is triggered by reading a Facebook status.
As a society, we’ve always had a “keeping up with the Jones” mentality. We want to present ourselves as best we can with the coolest outfit, most tropical vacation, and perfectly crafted iced lattes. Now, we can literally keep up with the Jones (or really, the Kardashians) as their lives pop up in our palms. Not only are we able to compare ourselves with our peers, but now celebrities and royals alike (hellllooo, Kate Middleton!).
Let’s get real here.
One of my friends has this catch phrase that always makes me laugh. She’ll giggle and say “You do you, boo!” As funny as it is, it’s some damn good advice. I won’t sit and lecture about how you shouldn’t care about the likes you get or how many followers you have. Please, I’m guilty. But in all honesty, does it really even matter?
You do you, boo.
Lucky for us, there is some science behind these massive collection of idolized images. In an article published earlier this year, The Instagram Effect: How the Psychology of Envy Drives Consumerism, the author writes, “Instagram makes our peers’ lives look glamorous, but almost attainable. If Beyonce has something that’s one thing, but if a friend does, it’s almost in reach — or feels like it should be.”
The term for this kind of comparison is “relative deprivation,” a sociological term that refers to the dissatisfaction that people feel when they compare their Ragu pasta and microwavable cheesy breadsticks to their friend’s night on the town full of oyster appetizers, steak main-dishes and decadent gelato for dessert.
But looking at an artfully altered landscape or a #ootd doesn’t always have to be self-depricating. It can be inspiring too. In fact, it was the inspiration found on Pinterest and other social media that inspired me to start writing this blog.
With career opportunities in social media management now-a-days, it can’t all be wrong. In all sincerity, a social media career is sort of like marketing and advertising for the modern age, right? Companies want their products to be perfect and desirable and that’s how everyone of us would like to appear as well. No harm, no foul. In fact, it has been proven that viewing your own personal Instagram account can actually bring you happiness and pleasure of your own self worth.
Let’s all just try to take it down a notch. We really don’t need to be so insta-conscious. If you think about it, everyone else is so worried about their posts, who has time to think yours is cool? 😉
Just kidding. You do you! …and everyone go like this post.