Has Instagram changed our perception of reality?

Bri Shelton, Columnist

Many of us like to pretend the era of Myspace and embarrassing profile pictures never happened.

We all took those selfies with duck faces, peace signs and sometimes facial expressions of our own creation. Back then, photo filters didn’t exist and everyone was using digital cameras to upload to the site. In other words, we all looked like we did on an everyday basis, minus the weird poses.

Nowadays, Instagram and other similar photo apps have changed the way we view our everyday photography. There are so many different edits to use to enhance the way we look or how nature can be perceived to our followers. It’s rare for us to post a picture to any social media site without editing them in some way from the original version. Or, if we choose to be brave, we often hashtag the photo with #NoFilter, so everyone knows the photo is the real deal.

Has this photography asset changed our perception of reality? Can we no longer trust people are uploading what the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty actually look like? Or should we always assume there’s been some type of edit done to every picture from now on? It seems to me that we would actually have to see these monuments, sunsets and celebrities in person to know what they actually appear to be, because filters can be deceiving.

Before Instagram, all the pictures on Facebook and Twitter were reality. The way we looked in our profile pictures was how we looked in real life. This is no longer the case. Because of smartphone features and photo apps, we have the power to beautify ourselves to meet social standards and appeal more to the notion everyone must look perfect at all times.

Why must we live up to that standard though? Before these features were invented, everyone was perfectly fine posting pictures with their acne flair-ups, bad lighting and other imperfect attributes.

There’s nothing wrong or degrading about posting photos without utilizing those filters. It’s perfectly acceptable not to look our best in every single snapshot. We’re all human after all, and pictures of our generation should reflect that.

Bri Shelton can be contacted at [email protected]