The Instagram Effect: Hiding Behind Social Media

By: Sara Brink, Guest Blogger


Confession: I post a lot of photos of my coffee on Instagram.

I wake up each morning and stumble into the kitchen to put the kettle on the stove. I rip open a packet of hot chocolate or instant cappuccino and as the foam settles on top of my delicious drink, I’m snapping a photo and slapping my favorite filter over it. And a few hours later, that little photo has gained some 50+ likes.



If you live on this planet and know what Instagram is, you’ve probably heard all the clichés about it: it’s for “hipsters” who like to post black and white shots of their shoes, close-ups of their name written on their Starbucks cup, and captures of the plate of food they just ate at a cool Thai restaurant. (Oops, guilty.)

So it’s no surprise when Instagram (or any social media platform, really) gets flack for producing an envy effect.

You’ve probably been there before: your friend posts a beautiful picture of the sunset from their Hawaiian vacation and you instantly wish you were sitting on a white sandy beach. Someone else posts a picture of the indie band they’re seeing in concert and you instantly feel a little jealousy rise up inside of you.

Social media gives us the power to share the pieces of our lives that we see fit for the Internet. We can share whatever good moments we choose on Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds, but can decide to leave the messy, broken moments unseen. It’s the equivalent of shoving all your dirty clothes under your bed when your mom tells you to clean your room.


Here’s the thing to remember: our lives aren’t as perfect as we may make them seem online.

However, we can always make them better.

Take time to reflect in those downfall moments. The bad situations will teach you valuable lessons and make you stronger, but only if you let them, so embrace the not-so-ideal times (and maybe even Instagram them).

And next time you’re getting brunch with your friends or driving into a postcard-perfect sunset, keep your phone in your pocket. Don’t worry about taking the perfectly angled picture to show everyone else what a beautiful moment it is, just be present and enjoy it.

(You can always Instagram your coffee tomorrow.)


About Sara

sara_brink.jpgSara Brink is a writer, blogger, and self-proclaimed book nerd. Between applying to jobs and grad schools, she serves as the founder of the virtual book club Close Reads Cafe and a member of the More Love Letters team. Catch up with her through her blog or on Twitter (@SaraMBrink).






Featured images courtesy Sara Brink

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