Instagram is my addiction. It is every twenty-something girl’s addiction.
It lures us in with peony photos and quotes that just get us and shoe snaps that are both arty and sexy. It captivates us with its smashed avocado and colourful cocktails and breath-taking snaps of New York’s skyline. It is our dream life pulled together in a sweet-as montage of photos. It has become less of a place to share cute snaps with gal pals, and more of a place for life inspiration – a place for us to visualise the life we’re working towards.
And, as much as we love it and we love our hopeless addiction that fills every spare 7 seconds we find within any given day – whilst walking to the bus stop, whilst waiting for the microwave to ping, whilst sitting in the bath, whilst pretending to watch TV – we also kinda hate it.
Admittedly, Instagram causes one of my biggest emotional downfalls. It’s the biggest reason I compare myself to every other sassy sister out there and start to think that maybe, damn it, I could be better. I should work harder, eat less, do my make-up better… you know the story. Instagram sometimes manages to convince you that you’re somehow 573785687 times more flawed than everyone else out there.
Despite this, here I am about to harp on about why it’s actually really, bladdy good for us. We’ve just never realised.
So err, here goes.
Hands up who’s taken themselves off for an autumnal walk this year to take in the bright orange leaves contrasting against the pale blue sky just so that they can get a sweet flippin’ heck, THIS IS GONNA GET ME ALL THE LIKES, Instagram snap?
Or swanned off to Starbucks just for a photo of a Pumpkin Spice Latte in that autumn cup? Or bought flowers just because you knew you were going to get a killa hot photo of them? Or decided that FUCK IT, you’re getting Krispy Kreme donuts tonight because you’ve hard a hard day and dang they’d look good in your grid?
We have become mildly transfixed with doing things and buying things for their beauty, for the way they’ll photograph.
And maybe that sounds a bit gross, maybe we should be enjoying life in the moment and not worrying about how many likes a photograph will get – but look at it a different way, how much beauty have you suddenly found in the most mundane of things?
I’ve never really even noticed the leaves on the trees changing colour before the way I have this year. And that’s because not only am I being bombarded with the images across social media, but because I’m making a point of finding time in my oh-so-busy life to stop and take them in.
Yes to photograph them, but also to admire them. To breathe in their simplicity and the way they clash against the sky and still-green grass. The way they look like their saturation has been turned right up.
I find myself stopping at beautiful buildings, and houses where the front door colour just pops against the flowers in the front garden. I’ve found myself noting the sweet pastel shades of the sky at sunset that sometimes makes it look like a LUSH bath bomb – heck, I’ve even found myself buying LUSH bath bombs because omg so pretty and so relaxing and people LOVE a LUSH bath bomb on Insta.
I’ve started getting excited about cooking and baking things that I know will look pretty, I’ve taken to treating myself to flowers ALL THE TIME, I’ve started going out for coffee even when I’m on my own because DANG, INSTA GRID IS LOOKING FINE.
Instagram has made me start to notice the little things, the details, the little fleeting images of beauty in everyday life.
We sometimes get so caught up wishing we were travelling the world and owning designer handbags (looking at you Chloe Drew), that we forget there are magical moments all around us – and so many of them are free. So many of them are free for us to experience just by opening our eyes a little wider.
As my obsession with Instagram and capturing that perfect image grows, so does my awareness of my surroundings.
We have all become amateur photographers forever looking for the next shot that will take our breath away.
There’s no denying that Instagram brainwashes. The more we see a repeated image, the more we want it and the more we notice it. Would you have mentally noted the fresh pale pink blossom sprouting on trees this spring every time you passed one had it not been all over Instagram? Would you have been as aware of it all around you?
I wouldn’t have at ALL.
Maybe it’s a teeny tiny bit sad that I’m too caught up in the internet and First Dates and Netflix and ooooh let’s play N64 to notice how incredible the world outside my window is, without Instagram telling me to, but that’s 2015 century life and whatcha gonna do, eh?
We’re all so busy working overtime and going to the gym and ringing our parents and running a bath and painting our nails whilst cooking dinner and fake tanning to have time to stop and smell the roses.
So if Instagram serves as our reminder that heck, coffees and flowers and avocados are all pretty little things and should be appreciated, I think that’s a good thing. If we’re getting little bursts of happiness shooting through our veins because we’re appreciating the sky or the leaves or the ocean or the way the beach huts look so damn snug on the beach front, that’s a good thing.
And if Instagram serves as our excuse to treat ourselves to the small things – like bath bombs and cake and passion fruit cocktails and Saturday trips to the beach – then I think that’s a good thing to.
Yes, we need to live in the moment more and stop being so obsessed with capturing moments on our iPhones to prove they happened, but if it wasn’t for the sheer joy of uploading to good ol’ Insta, I’m not sure we’d have the same momentum to keep on hunting out the little hidden joys in every day, the way we do now.
And damn it, the little joys in every day are exactly what make the world go round, innit.
LUV U INSTAGRAM, U CHEEKY LIL BAE <3