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Social Media and existential crisis

I was reading an article on a blog and…
When I start a sentence with this opening, my friends know they can count on it being something entertaining, thoughtful, and frustrating about today’s society. What you are about to read falls in the same categories, plus existential crisis and branding. Let’s start from the beginning.


Social Media and existential crisis

I was reading an article on a blog about Instagram, which I find extremely fascinating from my outsider perspective. Every time I come across an article about said platform, I look forward to reading it as a tool to understand the changes in today's society. I thought the only problem with Instagram was the cold food and the hundreds of photos while sucking in your tummy, apparently those were 2015 issues.

In this article, the author first talks about their love-hate relationship with Instagram and the crisis once a theme didn't receive enough attention or didn't feel relevant and personal anymore. I thought social Media strategies worked only for brands, but I guess Internet personalities are brands now, too, which feels like a rather odd modern concept.

Thankfully I read blogs to stay up to date!

Then the brand/author describes how, during a family trip, they decided to revert to ‘old school’ Instagram and simply post random happy moments from their trip. No more themes, editing, or planning one strategic picture a day. Apparently, this is to be considered a bold and risky move for today’s society and Instagram standards.

Against all the odds, they noticed people were more involved with their actual life, and gained new followers who enjoyed the more true-to-reality pictures.

Does this mean that most pictures are not based on reality anymore? That's literally the opposite of what pictures were created for.

We all have fallen, at least once, for the purely aesthetically pleasing, and found ourselves in a white and minimalistic universe. I guess that a ‘real life’ Instagram page must feel like a breath of fresh air for many.

At this point, I was feeling quite happy with society, seeing how people understood the difference between real life and Social Media, and preferred the former. Then, I checked my Twitter newsfeed.

The positive feeling was gone in less than 280 characters, as one of the people I follow, not a web influencer or anything like that, posted two very similar pictures with the caption:
“What’s wrong with me! It’s just a photo but I put the wrong version up on Instagram. It annoys me so much. The one on the right is so much prettier!”

I edited out several exclamation marks and sad face emoji, I hope I didn’t ruin the message this person was trying to convey.

A normal person, looking at either of those pictures, would immediately think: ‘This is  a building in Amsterdam, it looks like a lovely day, this view is awesome, it must have been a pretty cool trip’. That's the whole point of posting a photo from your trips. Also, those pictures were virtually identical and the angle was the only slight difference.

Anyway, I replied to this Tweet (with no answer to this day):
“There is no 'wrong version' of your life! It's the memory that counts.”

Which is the edited version of what I was really thinking: "What’s wrong with people! Don’t stress over Social Media for a photo taken on holiday! Enjoy life and get off your phone, you're a weirdo, not a brand." (129 characters left)

I had so many questions and so little characters left:
Who goes on a platform to openly complain about something they did on another platform? I may be way off here, but couldn’t they have deleted the ‘wrong’ picture and upload the ‘right’ one on the spot? If Instagram brings you so much stress that you possibly interrupt your trip to update your Socials and get frustrated because of it, wouldn’t it be better to avoid it altogether? Or were they just fishing for compliments? Are we 16 year-old Facebook users? Also, is Instagram crisis a thing now? Do people go to therapy, or Social Media Management Strategy meetings, because they are questioning their theme? Is this what being a brand implies?

I miss the good ol' days where we had existential crisis over the meaning of life and our role in the universe.



Inspired by: A beautiful mess
Image: via

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