Social media envy
“Just because everyone’s following them, doesn’t mean you have to follow them?” Do I sound like an advice column from the 1990s? Good. I hope I do. That was the aim at least.
But such a foreboding sentence does spell out some classic advice. Back when you were a teen it had to do with smoking, sex and getting a nose ring. Whereas today it has to do with following the crowd on social media. While you might not be taking all the social media celebrities literally, following none the less can have an effect on your life and leave just as harsh a scar as that nose ring you secretly got when you where in 14. You rebel!
On social media I see a lot of people lamenting about the jealousy they find themselves experiencing with their various news feeds. Of fawning over photos of bloggers who have really become marketing models and lamenting over their latest paid-for beach-side holiday. I even see my not-so-savvy-on-social-media friend rolling her eyes at Olivier Palermo’s instagram feed, muttering bitterly at her perfectly posed couple shots with her equally good looking partner.
While I get the voyeuristic element of seeing a pretty yet uninteresting celebrity’s latest holiday snap, I also find the whole notion rather self-destructive. While Oliver Palermo’s instagram feed may be pretty – it’s not real. In fact when you take a step back to think about how such photos have been created, I cringe at the effort that has been put in into fooling people of its effortlessness. All those bloggers posing in the golden sunlight have boyfriends with expensive cameras tirelessly documenting them from their best angle. Not to mention the post production that goes into it, before it’s then transposed onto a phone and posted with a twee caption ‘dancing in the sunlight today LOVE HEART EMOTICONS #loveandhappiness.’ Wouldn’t it make you feel better if they were just honest and wrote ‘This photo took 4 hours to create. Can everyone please like it so we can get money CASH EMOTICONS #makeitrain’
But this isn’t an attack on bloggers. Celebrities are just as contrived. Lol of course they are – that’s they’re job silly. We probably can’t even comprehend the marketing man-power that goes into documenting their flossy lives. Do you think Oliver Palermo is the one trawling the internet to regram a paparazzi photo of her at an event, or of her on the cover of a magazine? What’s worse, an intern being told to do so or Oliver taking the time to self-indulge on her image?
I choose Oliver Palermo as an example because firstly SHE’S THE WORST and secondly, not only is her life a fantasy, but her personality or lack-there-of is completely devoid on her account. Which I guess in turn makes her the perfect person for instagram, and super-talented-and-interested Lena Dunham, a not-so-pretty-on-the-eyes account. But guess whose photos bring a smile to my face more? Oliver’s vommit inducing couple shots or Lena’s photos of her dog? Guess!
So next time if you find yourself suffering from instagram envy thanks to a celebrity or blogger’s too good to be true shot think of the following:
1. How much effort was actually put into the photo? If I had a personal photographer with a pimping camera and free clothes, could I look just as good? If not, even better? Your hair looks amazing today! And you did it yourself! High five!
2. Would I be friends with the person in this photo? *cough* would you really want to be friends with Olivier Palermo *cough* Is there someone better I could be following? Who would be more entertaining and not just vacantly pretty?
3. Does following this person’s account make me feel good or bad? If all of those perfect selfies are causing a constant eye-roll, you know what you’ve got to do.
The best thing about social media is, as great as it can be, it’s also great to switch off too. Like buying a magazine or watching a TV show, who you follow shapes what social media becomes. So if you don’t like someone, unfollowing them is the power that lies at your hands. Choose it wisely.