Life is more important than Instagram photos

News Editor Kaitlyn Davis

Instagram provides a creative outlet for users, but it can also double as a veneer, a projection of a perfect life people hide behind.

Fifty five percent of young adults from 18 to 29 use Instagram, according to Pew Research Center.

Everyone knows those certain Instagram users — the ones with the perfectly candid photos, artful shots of healthy food and carefree pictures at music festivals. Those people seem cool, cultured and beautiful.

But let’s be real — those people put a lot of time and energy into their accounts. Unless they have a personal photographer following them around and capturing every good-lighting moment, there’s some poor friend on the other side of the photo taking a million pictures of them in a fake mid-laugh.

My friends and I catch ourselves looking at other women’s accounts wondering, “How is she so candid? Why does her makeup look so good? How has she never worn the same thing twice?”

It can be easy to compare one’s own life to someone’s best moments and become caught up in crafting the ideal image via photographs.

Now, I don’t want to bash perfect-Instagrammers too hard because to be honest, I wish my photos were more like theirs. But I think it’s important for students to realize no one’s life is as perfect as it seems on Instagram.

The social media platform is an outlet for users to put their best foot forward all of the time.

I’ve met people in person who I follow on Instagram, and they turned out not to be as interesting or as awesome as their account suggested. It is not an accurate depiction of anyone’s life.

By being so worried about snapping an attractive photo of an outing with friends or of a vacation, one misses out on enjoying life and living in the moment.

Instagram breeds shallowness. People can become obsessed with how many likes a photo receives or of perfecting their Instagram alter-ego.

But the platform also promotes creativity by allowing users to experiment with photography and become inspired by different images and views of the world.

Students need to learn to strike a balance and not put too much stock into an Instagram account but still enjoy using one.

Life is happening all around us. So, put the phone down, don’t worry about capturing the moment for Instagram and simply be in that moment with friends, family, nature or pets.

One day, we’ll all be old. What will we have to show for youth, a beautiful Instagram account and memories of taking photos or a fulfilled life and beautiful memories of living it?