The internet, more specifically social media, has the power to influence a person’s outlook on the world, their body, or create expectations. It can inspire someone, give them a platform to spread a message on, and change the world. Instagram plays into all of these factors. It has an enormous impact on how people of all ages live their lives. It creates reputations and can boost or break confidence.
To start, we have a picture. This picture will send out a message no matter the focus point. It is there to be looked at and most of the time it is judged whether you are aware of it or not. The reason we take pictures as a society has changed. It is now specifically catered to Instagram. Before you eat your food, take a picture. At the beach, take a picture. Hanging out with your friends, take a picture. You like your outfit today, take a picture (#ootd). Selfie Sunday, Man crush Monday, and throwback Thursday, all reasons to take a picture or post a picture. When I say take a picture I mean hundreds of pictures. Different lighting and angles are key all just to get the perfect picture for Instagram.
Next, editing. The picture must match your Instagram theme. It might have to have a specific color hue, brightness, or contrast so that when someone looks at all the little squares alined it is very put together. It is easy to make it seem like you have the perfect life. Personally, I don’t edit much. I just use the Instagram built in editing system to fade and brighten my pictures slightly. I am not the best at creating a theme and have began to give up on it…oops. However, the app VSCO is very popular for editing.
Phase three, the caption. You could always go with the cheesy quote or saying that describes the picture perfectly or a short and sweet word that is a little summary. It is just as important as the picture and again, there to be read and most likely judged. Trust me, more work can go into the caption than the picture. If you are all out of ideas the task goes to your friends that will then brainstorm more. Not adding a caption is a bold move and not frequently attempted.
Followers, likes, and comments are a huge part of Instagram. Although the number doesn’t matter, it is very easy to compare to others. It can lower your confidence greatly or have the opposite affect. It is hard to picture the people behind the numbers. It is out of your control by this point, but it is the moment when most people begin to judge the message you sent out. Did this person like it? Why or why didn’t they? They let me follow them, but they didn’t follow back. It is a form of stress and creates a need for instant gratification.
What if you don’t want to wait to take a bite of the food you have been standing in line for for three hours? What if you rather stay in the moment than be on your phone? What if Instagram begins to consume your life? It happens within the blink of an eye. You need to constantly know what everyone is doing and compare it to yourself. All you see is the good, never the bad, or the evil. Instagram has fake made up rules and it should be used for self expression. If you like a picture, post it. If you don’t feel like taking one-hundred pictures just to get the best shot then don’t. Instagram runs people’s lives and it shouldn’t, but as they say: “pics, or it didn’t happen”.
(Picture taken from Google)