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DOUBLE-TAP THAT The Instagram life might be changing the way we view ourselves, writes Siobhan Taylor. I’LL BE HONEST with you: I use my Instagram to make myself seem cooler than I actually am (full disclosure: I don’t do it very well). I get caught up in a pleasure-pain cycle of pseudo-stalking others’ seemingly better lives, and in turn fabricating my own (hopefully enviable) social-media persona. The goal? To present myself as a super-chill gal who goes to cool events, is a bit of a high-roller, and has a huge social circle. It’s so far from the reality that it makes me laugh.

I AM STILL THINKING IN THE BACK OF MY MIND, ‘WILL THIS MAKE A GOOD PHOTO? WHAT WOULD I CAPTION IT?’ When all we see are picture-perfect filtered snapshots, we inevitably compare them with our own life and (sometimes) find it lacking. You know, it’s the whole “grass is greener” thing. While we have developed an awareness of the manipulative reality of magazines, we are less likely to critique Instagram photos in the same way because, despite being better than ever at recognising


photo-manipulation, the image feels so real because we know the photographer. Or, we feel like we do. Not only a platform for friends and acquaintances, we also follow travel blogs, beauty gurus, socialites, and celebrities – dubbed “influencers” – and the snapshots we see of their personal lives make us feel like we know them and trust them. For a moment we get an insight into their experience and our reality is connected with theirs. I’m not particularly active on Instagram, yet I am also guilty of capitalising on opportunities to make myself look cooler, more interesting, and more exciting than I might actually be. Going out for drinks with a gal pal looks instantly cooler with the X-Pro II filter, while a selfie at the beach was probably the result of at least 20 attempts. Even as someone who rarely uses Instagram, I am still thinking in the back of my mind, “Will this make a good photo? What would I caption it?” Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I have a fulfilling job, a wonderful circle of friends and family, and hobbies that bring me joy, but sometimes I get lost in the rabbit hole of Insta-jealousy. Allowing myself the space to exist outside of my iPhone has been critical in finding greater joy in my life. I still edit my photos and I still trawl the explore feed, but the magical pull of Instagram has less of a hold on me.


STYLE | June 2017  
STYLE | June 2017  

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