I enjoyed this journal entry written by Sara (@me_and_orla), here. Pretty timely that she wrote this, after having a recent discussion with a few friends over coffee on the issue of the beautifully-composed Instagram shot and why there is nothing pretentious or wrong about that.
I am on the defense of the thoughtful process behind a snapshot, posted on what I like to see as a portal of art and inspiration. And since we are smart enough to use a smart phone, we should be intelligent enough to know that nobody wakes up to le petit déjeuner tray set laid out on a crisp white duvet, or reads books with a withered tuft of baby’s breath decorating the table sides. Let’s be real, no one’s life is as perfectly sequestered in squares and as beautiful as it looks on their social media feed.
Well why then does one not post a photo of a bad day at work, or the growing pile of dirty laundry? Obviously because no one wants to document and remember a bad or unnecessary memory. So how could we say that our beautifully curated feed is a lie, when it really, truthfully is made out of the best bits of your life depicted in squares? A friend was saying how Instagram can be a channel to flex one’s creativity. And that there should be a sense of detachment from our daily feed to our daily life, for if ever one day Instagram decides to shut down, we shouldn’t feel like a part of our life is gone. It’s just another platform for you to express your art. To which I absolutely agree.
And as with everything else, I suppose what you post boils down to purpose and intention.
It isn’t wrong to post aesthetically pleasing things because they are a representation of what you like (not an accurate depiction of daily life) and in some sense a mild representation of who you are as a person, similarly it isn’t wrong to post real life, real time moments in a shot which might not exactly pass the ‘aesthetically pleasing’ QC. What’s more important I feel, is the message we intend to deliver by sharing that particular image. Why am I posting this? To benefit yourself & others through reminders? To let your family know how you are doing? To inform friends of a newly opened restaurant in town? Purpose can be aplenty, but I believe things that are more purposeful are instantaneously more beneficial, hence more deserving and worthy of a share.
I’ve grown to enjoy partaking in this activity by sharing bits of life and then some with the right intention and purpose. Instagram is not and must not be an ego-massaging, pride-displaying, senseless-sharing platform. It’s an outlet to express, not impress. It is a happy place where we inspire one another and feel good after scrolling through a feed filled with positive vibes. If it doesn’t make you feel that way, then ask yourself, what should you eliminate? Filter the noise, stick to your purpose, style it up all you want but keep it real.