(I apologise in advance that this post seems like a bit of a rant…)
Now, I don’t exactly need to point out that we are living in a digital age whereby everybody is living some form of life online. Whether this is an accurate portrayal or not largely depends on the person, but I think it is fair to say that we are all guilty of tailoring our posting to show the best or most interesting aspects of life.
For most of us, Social Media is a kind of added extra to our daily lives. It is not something that necessarily crosses our minds anymore. But for some younger generations, social media representation (particularly Instagram) is equally important, if not more so, than how you appear in real life. It is almost more important to get the most likes than to hear an actual compliment in person. So is Instagram a dangerous platform of self-expression? Does it promote competition between young girls?
Research has suggested that women who base their self-worth on their appearance are likely to post more pictures of themselves online as a form of validation. In turn, they are more likely to have a large number of followers and are also more likely to consider angles and lighting in their photos. So is it surprising to know that many women feel envious of those they follow on social media? When do we, as women, acknowledge that we all have insecurities and that no-one is perfect?
There seems to be a lack of acknowledgement that online images can also be tampered with. We are all aware that the models on the front of the glossy fashion magazines have been airbrushed to the high end, so maybe we need to have a similar outlook when considering online images? Apps such as FaceTune, filters, lighting, Photoshop etc all play a part in framing the ‘ideal’ image and it is all fake. (Now I am not criticising those who edit there photos, but considerations should be made for the implications that this can have on others). It is not realistic to look like this day to day and yet so many of us, myself included, scroll down the explore page getting more and more depressed and envious that we don’t or never will look like those girls. It is a mirage and I think it is important to highlight that Instagram can be just as fake and edited as the glossy magazine covers that line the shelves.
I’m aware that this is quite a negative article, and I am not in any way suggesting that social media is bad. But I do think it is important that we stop comparing ourselves to others. Instagram makes it so easy for us to judge ourselves against our peers as well as celebrities and in my opinion that is not healthy. I don’t think it would do any of us any harm to just take a step back now and again…