Embrace Instagram’s shift to casual posts, but remember false nature of social media

Chloe Sun

Photo dumps, #nofilter, blurry pictures—the movement to make Instagram casual again is something that has permeated the platform. In an attempt to challenge the longstanding norm that Instagram is a place only for the most perfected and professional pictures of yourself, there has been a gradual shift to the more authentic, and I am in full support of it. 

Social media has always been an over-filtered, “fake” arena that has given users a feeling of obligation to hide all of their faults as human beings, constantly painting an impossibly perfect reality that many young people have unfairly compared to their own imperfect lives. It’s about time that this mentality has changed, and I’m happy to see users start to express themselves in a way that’s more true to life. It’s making social media more human. It’s letting our followers see more of the real us.

At the same time, my support is hypocritical—my own Instagram page is heavily curated to adhere to a pink, hazy pastel theme, and I spend a good amount of time doodling on or editing my photos before posting them. In my eyes, however, my Instagram is an extension of my personal identity as an artist. It’s a different way to romanticize my world, a different medium that weaves captions, comments and friends into the 1080px by 1080px grid that is my canvas. Instead of stressing to show only the most perfected aspects of my social life, I edit my feed for fun and the sole purpose of maintaining what I see as my personality put onto a screen. 

Pink theme or not, I’ll always continue to appreciate the casual posts on my feed and the glimpse it gives into its poster’s real life—the shots of friends caught in a moment of laughter, inside jokes I have no way of understanding, obscure memes, pictures of sunset views out bedroom windows—it’s so refreshing to see, and I think I’ll slowly start embracing myself. 

Of course, at the same time, we should remind ourselves that despite this shift to the more down-to-earth, Instagram and platforms like it are still not true to real life, so never compare yourself to whatever comes up on your feed. 

I still hesitate to post more personal content, but even as I embrace the casual, it’s okay. You’re never obligated to afford your followers the privilege of knowing the true you. Save for the people you meet in real life.