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To be real or to not be real.
You wake up. You reach for your phone. You begin to decide which app you should scroll through the morning before you step out of bed and face reality – Twitter? Nah, too many words to start the day. TikTok? Too noisy, no one wants to hear a story time this early in the morning (or afternoon, no judgements here). Tumblr? What are you, stuck in 2015? So, Instagram it is.
Is that what your morning thought process looks like? Because same.
I’ve been on Instagram way before it tried to be TikTok 2.0 and sell me a million different products on my feed. I was there since the logo was a brown camera, since it was acceptable to slap the built-in filters on your pictures and since -stagram was a heavily used prefix.
Basically, I was there when people used Instagram for what it really was – a fun photo sharing app. There really wasn’t any pressure to present yourself in a certain way. Heck, we even used to post pictures taken straight from the app’s camera itself! I couldn’t imagine doing that now.
As the app got bigger though, it seems like this sense of authenticity has becomes smaller and smaller. That’s just how it is with things that exists in the public domain, huh? No one is truly real on the app anymore.
I’ll be transparent with you, not even my Instagram is real. I mean, it’s real in the sense that it’s me in those pictures, I took them, and I actually went to those places or eat those things that I post about but it’s only a part of my life that I’m willing to share with you which evidently, the ones where I’m not breaking down over my weekly readings.
I can’t help but wonder if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Should we keep up this façade? Pick and choose what we want to show the world? After all, privacy is a human right and not everything finds its place on the internet.
I mean, the world can be a gnarly and grimy place sometimes so is it necessarily bad to only want to see aesthetic, pretty and perfect things on our feed?
On the contrary, I’ve seen this growing effort to bring back authenticity with influencers and celebrities sharing stories and posting about the things we have actively shoved into the back of the internet closet these past few years. Suddenly it’s ok again to be bare faced in your photos, to admit to doing disgusting but socially acceptable things like picking your nose or fart on camera, to showing your messy room, to talk about your mental health and to not have a thigh gap.
I’m all for it. In a world that has become so heavily curated, with insanely high beauty standards, it’s important to be reminded that even those we look up to are very much just like us. As a person struggling with adult acne, it’s comforting to know that my favourite celebrities breakout too.
But then again, even this authenticity can be manipulated and exploited. Perfectly imperfect, they say. So really, is there even any distinction between what’s real and what’s fake?