Here Is What’s Hiding Just Outside Of Those Perfect Instagram Photos
Social media can be great. (Emphasis on CAN, right?) It can help better connect you to your friends and family, or even to strangers across the entire globe. But as much as it connects us, it can also make us feel isolated. How often do you look at someone else’s pictures on Instagram and feel pangs of jealousy? No matter how great your life might be, you’re always looking at someone else’s grass and finding it to be just a little bit greener. Hopefully this will change your mind. These two-photo series reveal that what you see on Instagram doesn’t always match reality.
It is hard not to compare your life to everyone else’s as we all document our experiences. And when we see other people going on cool adventures and doing new things, we feel like we’re missing out on life. FOMO, anyone?
We’re quantifying our experiences based on the amount of likes they get, and it isn’t healthy. Also, most of what you see isn’t even the whole story. Those great pics you see on Instagram? A lot of them aren’t even real.
If you have ever felt that way, then there’s good news: you are not alone. Everyone feels that way from time to time. Some even go to great lengths to ensure others don’t know they have those issues.
Remember, never trust what you see on the internet, even if it’s from someone you know. Those amazing Instagram pictures aren’t always what they seem. There’s usually a backstory to all of them. After all, no one broadcasts the mundane parts of their lives.
More Than Meets The Eye
In 2015, the blog of WrenKitchens.com posted a photo series to show that food pics on Instagram aren’t always what they seem. The photos also show how life in general on Instagram isn’t what it seems, if you hadn’t figured that out already anyway.
They teamed up with food bloggers to show the Instagram photo and what’s outside the photo. Because life, as we know, isn’t picture perfect, and sometimes we need a reminder that our lives don’t have to be that way.
A Kitchen Lived In
The photo series, called “A Kitchen Lived In,” takes on the misconception that perfect Instagram pictures are taken by people living perfect lives. This has been a rising trend of late, to combat the pressure that social media can put on our lives. Nobody’s life is exactly what they post on the internet.
Sometimes there’s messy dishes that still need to be cleaned up and a table that needs to be wiped. But you can’t show that in the picture, so you crop it out. This is a refreshing take to let everyone know that yes, there was a mess involved in the creation of this picture.
Kids Change Reality
Hannah of the blog Budding Smiles said, “Before I had children, I had images of me and my little angels sat at the table mixing ingredients, laughing over the flour making clouds, each of them having a spoon of cake mixture to lick clean and lots of fun sprinkling toppings on fairy cakes. I repeat… before I had children.”
In this case, we think that the layout that she’s trying to hide from the rest of the world is actually a cute little orderly mess. Maybe her children had something to say about it after this picture was taken. It certainly looks like they know how to draw a tasty pizza according to that artwork still on the table, though.
Even if you have a kid throwing a tantrum across the table (they’re kids after all; they are going to throw fits – it’s, it’s still possible to take a perfect photo. The secret is just framing the photo. Sure, it’s a bit messed up to keep your kid out of it, but have you tried taking the perfect shot of a toddler?
Good luck getting them to hold still long enough for you to accomplish that feat. Easier to just take a pic of something you’ve cooked instead.
After participating in the project, Jack from the blog Working Family Food said, “Going forward, I will still put up photos I think ‘sell the food,’ however don’t be surprised if a few shots of a toy-strewn living room or a child covered in his own dinner also make it up — this is the reality. Please don’t judge too harshly!”
It’s refreshing to see someone come clean and show the nitty and gritty of their real lives.
Wren Kitchens isn’t the first to point out the differences between Instagram and reality. Chompoo Baritone is a young photographer from Thailand who created a similar series in 2015. Aren’t you feeling better knowing that everyone isn’t doing better than you?
It’s easy to have FOMO (fear of missing out), but remember that it’s not all that it seems. These next photos will definitely remind you of that, so try to keep it in mind.
If you see someone on Instagram showing off their athleticism and balance, it is quite possible that they actually received a helping hand (or two). Always be suspicious of what is being cropped out of these photos. If anything, they should include that person in the pic.
Anyone can learn to stand on their head. But finding a friend willing to help out while you snap a pic? That’s way more rare and valuable. Show that off to the world.
These photos don’t just reveal that Instagram is misleading. They also let you know that, even if your life is untidy, you can find parts of it that look perfect. That’s inspiring in a way.
Nothing is perfect, but nothing is perfectly bad, either. Even among a mess, you can find a glimmering ray of hope. Do your best to focus on the positives, and spend less time dwelling on the negative. It takes practice.
Clean Your Room
Just don’t get too carried away with that philosophy, however. Who needs to make your bed when you can simply push everything to one side? Nothing is perfect. It is important to keep that in mind.
But it should be an excuse to give you license to be a lazy slob. You can accomplish minor tasks, still. Sure, you can take a day off every now and then, but don’t live in a nightmare of strewn blankets and pillows forever.
Going For A Ride
Sometimes perfection can get in the way:
“You can’t let anyone know there are unplanned people nearby in the photo. That’s not what happens in parks! Everyone get out of the shot, no one can know I was in a real-life park that wasn’t perfect, gosh. Those are the rules.
“Yes, I realize I’m blocking the middle of the road and holding up your day. But come on! Can’t you appreciate that there are dozens of followers who need to know how cool I am?”
On The Court
They are definitely serving up a cool shot in this photo. But you can’t have anyone know that you didn’t pick your tennis balls up off the ground before taking a photograph. Everyone knows that’s a real tripping hazard. An accident waiting to happen.
But hey, it’s total worth the risk. After all, sports aren’t meant to be a fun form of exercise or competition. It’s supposed to be an excuse to get some likes and feel better about yourself.
For more of Chompoo Baritone’s photos, you can visit her page on Facebook. Take a moment or two to check out all her work. It is truly refreshing to see someone try and encourage honesty in this day and age of online trickery.
May we all follow her lead and be a bit more forthcoming with how our lives are going and what they’re really like. You don’t want to make others feel terrible about theirs, do you?
Enjoy What You've Got
Besides, if you try to make every mundane moment spectacular, you will never be able to enjoy the truly special (and simple) moments in life. They come few and far between, but that is what makes them so special.
If everything is great, nothing is. When things are truly going well, take some time to appreciate it. Maybe even put your phone down and try to remember it. I know, a blasphemous statement, to be sure. But hey… it’s worth a shot.