Instagramming Your Life: The New Lying

When did the entire internet become soft-focus photographs of flat white coffees and Columbia Road flower market?
Publish date:
January 11, 2013
Instagram, life envy, artisanal coffee

What made it acceptable to shamelessly disguise a double chin with a flattering retro filter when everyone who sees you knows what you really look like? And why aren’t we calling bullshit on this one?

This is all part of a phenomenon that my friend has dubbed “lifestyle dysmorphia”. This is behaviour learned from magazine interviews in which an actress describes her style as “eclectic” and says she cannot travel without £600 cashmere tracksuit bottoms. Homes features in glossy supplements that make your eyes water with envy and prompt the burning questions: “WHY don’t I have an antique cherrywood wardrobe? They cost HOW much?” If you can’t afford the actual lifestyle, wardrobe, clothes or cheekbones IRL, you can always fudge it with Instagram. Blur an Ikea wardrobe to make it look like a work of art. Never admit to being ordinary.

And it’s not just people choosing flattering pictures that bugs me. I do that, you do that, everybody does that. What I find bewildering is that it’s used to falsely document day-to-day activities, making us all feel like we’re doing it wrong if our 8am coffee doesn’t look sort of wistful enough. Like we’re not looking hard enough if our flat seems a bit scruffy and functional. Like our lovers don’t think we’re sexy enough if they don’t post heavily filtered photos of us strolling through Hampstead Heath.

Anyway, to kick back against this twee form of fascism, here’s the sort of stuff I get up to on a day-to-day basis. This is to let you know that it’s alright to have a two-star 24 hours – a day that isn’t full of magical, digitally-enhanced sunrises, daisy chains (not the rude kind) and bike rides. Picking the skin off a chicken is basically all I want from my real life after a long shift at work. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Do you shamelessly edit your life before 'sharing' it online? And this is probably a good time to urge you to follow us on Instagram - just search for xoJaneUK!