Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Social Media Vs. Reality | The Truth Behind The Instagram Filter

"Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel" - an adage that is now thrown around like it's going out of fashion yet many people still aren't truly understanding the depth of it, at least that's how it seems from my experience. The truth is, the lives that we post on our social media aren't accurate reflections of our day-to-day lives at all. They're constructions that are encoded with subliminal messages which our audience decodes - whether that be consciously or not.

The reason I'm writing this post is because I don't consider myself as a person who particularly 'glamorises' online-me in any way. I don't wear make-up, I don't use Photoshop and I don't really fuss over how my photos on social media portray me. However, I've come to realise that there are still little things that even I do, without fully realising, which significantly alter the way my life is portrayed and can conjure up assumptions in my readers' minds that aren't entirely true. Tiny things like adding filters, taking photos from your best angles, utilising the lighting and cropping images can improve your images greatly. Don't get me wrong, editing images isn't a bad thing - but this post is to remind you all that nothing is what it seems when it comes to social media. Comparison will always be the thief of joy and it's just really futile to do so when it's so easy in this day and age to manipulate the way we present ourselves online. Which is exactly why I'm exposing the truth behind the Instagram filter.

Each one of these pairs of photos was taken within minutes (sometimes seconds) of each other. The image on the left is what I saw; the image on the right is what you got to see.

1. Public transport
lunar look social media vs reality
*We're having so much fun and the sun isn't burning our eyes and making us sweat and there definitely isn't another passenger being really annoying -  no, not at all*

2. Meeting celebrities
james arthur bournemouth meet and greet
Can't beat the good old flash and crop to make any experience seem 10x better.

3. Hair
I honestly have no idea how I made my hair seem so glossy and amazing in the second photo but so vile in the one my friend took. (Disclaimer: her words on the caption, not mine!)

4. Getting your make-up done
lunar look social media vs reality makeup
Laughing through the tears because 1. The mascara is making your eyes water and 2. You're hella scared he's making you look ugly

5. Beauty pageants
The photos speak for themselves don't they?

6. Selfies
Snapchat flipped the 2nd photo around so all I've done is just given you the good side of my face and added a filter.

7. Selfies (2nd edition)
Same story, different day.

8. Concerts
taylor swift bst hyde park 1989 tour london
When you're in a crowd of 65,000 people at Hyde Park, you can expect to see a few backs of  heads. That doesn't mean you've gotta let your followers know that too, though.

9. OOTDs
Co-ords just look so much better when your belly button isn't showing. (Oh and with your eyes open)

10. Selfies (final edition)
God bless the half-face selfie and black and white filters.

I hope this piece has helped anyone who can't help but compare their life to others' misleading Instagram posts, or at least made you think about the way we construct the images we post on social media. X



  1. Hahaha this is all completely true!! In particular the concert ones - they always look so bad on camera haha
    Estelle x - www.letmegoxo.uk

  2. Great post idea! I love that you're not afraid to show these online - you shouldn't be, you're gorgeous anyway!
    It's a weird world we live in isn' it - everybody knows the Instagram feed is exactly that, a highlights reel, but continue to compare ourselves without even realising it anyway. Shame.
    lily x

  3. I love posts like these, they really make me think about the power of social media and photography to deceive in a seemingly honest manner. Seems the camera does indeed lie!


  4. I looooooove this, it's such a genuine, truthful post! xx

    Laura | elelibee

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