I Don’t Give A InstaDamn!

27 Aug

It all started with a click.

And before I knew it I found myself browsing through numerous pictures in the life of a person I had never met, or even knew existed before that moment. And all of a sudden her life became something I coveted; it was the standard of what I assumed life should be. And my life slowly began to look so ‘glamourless’!

I closed my browser but throughout the day, the pictures continued to play up on my mind. I saw a colourful world, ever so glossy; it was like those KFC/Burger King/McDonalds posters of burgers, fries and drinks positioned like a performance. Sunny beaches in Saint Lucia, Endearing Engagements & Wonderful, White Weddings. Built Houses you could only dream of. Cars cut out of magazines and parked in the driveway. #TeamFitness were Happy, Healthy, Beautiful people who didn’t work out to sweat. #RelationshipGoals that transpired into a relationship that was so romantic only 365 days of the year. She goes to ‘work’ made-up looking like a cover girl model and he is a Boss rocking that Hugo and they just #WokeUpLikethis? Everything #OnFleek! Every Dream that came true and that’s why #GodHasBeenSoooooGood’!

I had finally encountered the world of INSTAGRAM! And boy was it SCARY. Everything was just so…so picture-perfect. I wanted to be a part of it; a part of me craved it. No I shouldn’t. I can’t. This feels so wrong, that it can’t be right. Just one more look! I felt like such an outcast in this superficially, perfect world people had created. Every page I saw – FLAWLESS; they were stunning in EVERY picture yet there was #nofilter! Sure they may have #StartedFromTheBottom but everyone was surely making it now. Picture after pictures of all the wonderful things they were doing. Did anybody have ‘normal’ jobs? Was everyone a world traveller and ate at fancy restaurants? Do ALL the guys work out at the same Gym? Did all those girls get their hair from the SAME Brazilian (or was it Peruvian or Malaysian)? It was so weird seeing some of those pages of people I know personally and in our day to day dealings; they are NOT #AboutThatLife. So where did this new and exciting persona appear from? I didn’t have the time (or energy) to go through ALL the pictures, but there were literally hundreds of pictures posted within minutes and hours DAILY! How do they find the time to live this glamourous life AND (#selfie) post about it? I sure did feel inadequate.

It does what it says...

It does what it says…

Clearly missing something, curiosity got the best of me and I asked my friend what the point of Instagram was. His response was “Basically it allows people to become whatever they thought they could be in their head. It’s all about the fantasy. It feeds people’s ego, like everyone becomes a celebrity in their own right.”

OK! That makes sense?!!??! It got me thinking about this ‘social’ world we live in. So many networks have been created to help people connect, build and maintain relationships, both personally and professionally and learn and explore through captured moments and sharing experiences. But have we taken it too far? Are we silently screaming to the world hey ‘WatchMe WatchMe’? Have our #selfies truly made us selfish and hungry for likes and thirsty for followers? Where do you draw the line on how much you share with ‘the world’? How do you distinguish between your ‘public’ life and ‘private’ life? Do we share what’s most important or what is more superficial? What is the intention of posting something or are you indifferent to the response?

Which rings truer?

Which rings truer?

I noticed people attempting to protect their privacy by making Insta profiles private (so people like me can’t just be snooping) or only posting on one network as opposed to another, or being selective in the content they choose to share but did this really amount to someone being ‘a private person’? Was it enough? I mean exactly who are we trying to be creating an online persona that isn’t a reflection of who we are as a whole and sometimes completely differs from who we are in reality? We edit our lives to show just the good, and put a filter to cover the flaws and failures? Why are we trying to convince ‘the world’ we are important and somebody who’s got it all together? Can you imagine the rumple if there were a “dislike” button on posts. We’d be so mad at everyone that didn’t clap for us when we were #Winning. Boo, clap for yourself.

“A half-truth is a whole lie” Proverb

I’m slowly beginning to believe that social media is ‘an illusion’. People see what we show them but that’s just the half of it. We draw conclusions about people based on their posts, pages, and pictures when in truth, we don’t really know anything about the life they live and therefore shouldn’t take it so seriously. I am not a fan of Instagram, and though I subtly (or not) judge those that have one and use it to post ‘the many faces of #ME’, the truth remains that I too am a Social Networker and sometimes engage in the art of self promotion making me just as ‘egotistical’. I may not understand the point of all the networks but I definitely enjoy the benefits of the ones I subscribe to. I guess it’s just about putting things in perspective; everyone has different intentions and purposes using social media but I have to be careful not to get caught up in the negative backlash of posting online (for example, using it to define my identity, validate or increase my self-esteem, or just brag about my achievements) and without being pretentious, continue to find genuine ways to build and maintain relationships and connect with people through sharing things that inspire and motivate as well as entertain.

The world itself can be a superficial place, but we mustn’t so vicariously intrude in others’ lives through constant scrolling on social network that we neglect, and forget to admire, embrace and enhance our own. Contrary to what Instagram, Twitter, Facebook et all show, we are in no position to be comparing lives. We may want the same things, have the same dreams, or need the same acceptance but we all have different places and paths. Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to. Just because you don’t share it, doesn’t it make it any less relevant. And if you want to share it, just as well!!!

If the world knows, if it doesn’t, either way YOU’RE STILL AWESOME!!!


Ms Tola xx


One Response to “I Don’t Give A InstaDamn!”

  1. Mama S August 28, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    Hilarious! Very well written and very accurate #imo. Lol I think they should trial the dislike button but I don’t think it would go down too well 😜


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