Ummmm, hang on. Excuse me for just two seconds. I can’t talk now, I have to Instagram something. Oooook….there we go.

Send.

Ok, all set. It’s posted. Woooo, 10 likes! In two seconds!!! Heheheh. Oh sorry. I’m here. How’s it going? Are you on Instagram? How’s your Instagram life? Super cool, right?

The thing with Instagram, it’s the difference there is between our real life and the dream life we post. Ok so we’re all supposed to know it and take Instagram life with a grain of salt, but let’s be honest, we all forget.

We really think we can follow people’s life on Instagram. And then things happen like :


Friend : “Oh, sorry – I didn’t reach out too much these past week, I saw on Instagram you were busy travelling and very happy.”
Or things like : “Oh my gooood, you had the best summer didn’t you!”

Me: “Huh? What are you talking about? I mean, I went through a break up, I moved, it was kind of a mess there for a minute. Ohhh, you mean my INSTAGRAM? Well, yeah – it’s my Instagram account!!! Don’t judge me by my Instagram!!! I had a summer that was sometimes amazing, sometimes boring, sometimes awful. Just like everyone else. And four nice photos of Greece (Okay I have to admit, one pretty amazing week) don’t make my whole summer amazing.

But at the same time, I totally jump to conclusions too. One of my friends spent three weeks posting lovey selfies with her new guy, and I said:

Me: “Oh honeeeey!!! I’m so happy for you! You met the love of your life! He’s so cute with his beard!”
My friend: “The guy with the beard? That asshole? No, no – it’s over now. Good riddance! But since you can’t really make a break up announcement on Instagram (unless you post some inexplicable quote that only three people will understand, like “All ends are beginnings” “Love is never enough” “Singles do it better”) everyone thinks I’m still with him.
But no worries – two weeks without cheesy love selfies and everyone will have forgotten.”

So there you go. That will teach us to only post the happy photos, right?

But have you ever tried posting a photo of something normal, or even a little depressing?
Oh la la, total disaster, unfollowing festival, disappearance from the planet of likes.

Even in friendship, Instagram can create complicated interferences. Like :

Friend : “Hey so you’re spending your life with *insert name of new friend* !!!”
Me : “What? No I’ve seen her twice! Okay maybe three times but totally randomly.”
Friend : “Ah yeah? Well you certainly spend your life on her Instagram account, look.”
Me : “What why do you follow her. Ooooh what shit, I hadn’t seen that, also looks like I’m (Okay I was) completely drunk!”

Ok, fine, I’m exaggerating. It really depends what you’re looking for with your Instagram account. There are still normal people out there (= old people, from before the selfie generation and the age of narcissism) who just want to stay connected with their friends.
There are even people with private accounts!!! I even know a few of them! They exist.
My twisted brain thinks it’s because they’re too pretentious to join the race for likes. But the nice part of my brain says they’re totally right to do that.

I’m surprised it’s even an option anymore, actually – a “private profile”, such an old world concept.

So other than those rare creatures with private accounts, we know the story.
The more followers you have, the more validated you feel. The more followers you have, the easier it is to use Instagram for work. So you end up in situations like :

Friend: “Merde, I have to work tonight!! I’m being paid to Instagram this party for *insert brand name* and there’s nothing to Instagram. No celebrities, nothing – not a single thing worth taking photos of. It’s dark, everyone is bored, no one is dancing except for that it-girl from 2006 and if I post her they’ll probably fire me. You wouldn’t want to take a selfie with me, would you, Garance?”
Me: “Oh come on really? Fine, ok.”
Friend: “Ok, but wait, you have to at least look like you’re having fun!!!”
Me: “Ok. Woooooh!”

Or things like :

PR : “Too bad you couldn’t come to our party the other evening but I saw you still had fun on the tables of the Boom Boom Room! It’s wonderful that you weren’t sick after all!!! Good for you, good for you!”
Me : “…”

Yeah.

So here’s the thing. Between Instagram and real life, I say, always pick real life.
Just know – Instagram always wins in the end.

 

Translated by Andrea Perdue