I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of seeing fake, staged photos on Instagram.
We know that behind every photo of someone smiling blissfully into the camera, there’s 20 more of a not-so-perfectly Insta-ready face. We know that half of the people who own a freakin’ fiddleleaf fig plant specifically bought that plant just to look cool for photos.
So why do we buy into this stuff? And even more importantly, why do we waste and manipulate precious seconds of our lives just to capture the perfect image?
As an amateur photographer, I understand the need for posing photos. It is actually really hard to capture a genuine smile or laugh at the perfect angle in real time. But when we’re stopping all the action for a mini photo shoot, aren’t we diminishing our experiences?
We stage our photos so often now because we want to make sure we look good and because there’s a certain image of ourselves we want to project. Of the 40 selfies on our phone, we choose the one that we think is the most beautiful, the one that is the closest to our ideal self. But when we do this, we’re discounting those 39 photos that we deem unworthy, but is still us. When we stage a photo of our home just to look trendy AF, we’re telling ourselves that the only desirable home is one that is always tidy and pleasing to the eye.
But homes don’t work that way, and neither do people. We should never be compelled to dress or look a certain way, travel to certain places or buy a freaking fiddle leaf fig just to appease other people.
My challenge to myself (because I am just as guilty too) and others is to dare to live in the moment, without the camera. And if you can’t manage that, then to snap only a photo or two and live with what you got. Included in that challenge is to try harder to not feel compelled to be a certain way that you think is more likely to get more likes on social. Because the likes really don’t matter; it’s the experience that the photo is capturing that counts.
And please abstain from buying a fiddle leaf fig. They’re hard to keep alive, anyway.