A lot of (digital) ink has been spilled on the influence of social media on millennials like myself. Not only does it affect our mental health, it also makes us insecure about our physical appearance. Pictures taken on our Iphones are edited not just by an Instagram filter, but go through a complete process of contrast adjustments, color saturation changes, teeth whitening, smoothing skin and so on. Our generation is skilled in making photos seem like a captured moment of pure happiness, succes and overall beauty. The truth is less appealing and so are the hours spent in creating the perfect presets in Lightroom.
Browsing through Instagram I can see idyllic pictures of twenty-something girls/boys taken in the most exotic countries, #livingthegoodlife. It got me thinking: how did it got this far? Our own parents were perfectly happy in their ‘simple’ life where the only one you could compare yourself with were your friends, family and close neighborhood. Nowadays we want things we don’t know because we saw someone we never met having it and sure it seemed just the thing you need. Why? Because even though you might realize that you will never attain the certain lifestyle of one of the lucky Instagram Gods (as I like to call them), it brings you that bit closer to their world where we love to be a part of. Even if it is for just a second.
Or are the followers to blame for this never ending game of originality in this copying social world? Are we asking too much of these (often too) young people? We want to see the most exotic places, tables filled with enough food to feed a football team or solo-pictures of the most tourists hotspots at sunrise with the latest it bag hanging from their shoulders. Are we not satisfied anymore to see ‘real’ pictures?
The answer may lie in between. Sure there is nothing wrong with showing the world your most amazing travel pictures or your newest addition in your wardrobe (that blue fauxfur jacket I wore in these pictures – It’s from Zara and it makes me feel like an ice queen.). But it is also fine for all those people out there who post pictures about their DIY projects or freshly homemade dinners. We are so busy pretending to accept every individual in the ‘real life’, we forget how much we still discriminate people online. There is nothing wrong with showing who you are as long as it make you happy.