Transparency, algorithms and trends- all Instagram related terms that are outlandish to the non-Insta Lingo Ninja.
Brand promotions, avocado brunches and designer #OOTD’s- all Instagram related terms that are unattainable for the majority of the young, partially susceptible females that are drawn to posts that contain such content.
For struggling college students, owning a good quality phone to even look at Instagram is lavish.
Life for us consists of borrowing dresses for nights out and enduring a bare minimum diet consisting of pasta and tap water.
When comparing this to the lifestyles projected upon us every time we open the photo sharing site it is no surprise it leaves many young women feeling as though they are inadequate. Unfortunately, it is not the pictures that are at blame, but the influencers behind them who spend overwhelming amounts of time editing their online lives to expected perfection.
Though these influencers are often the ones being targeted for cultivating and promoting these perfect lifestyles, there are many who realise the danger and power of what they post and how young women will feel and respond.
Katie Martin (theycallmecait.blogspot.ie) is both a student and a blogger. She started her blog in 2014.
“I began blogging about three years ago, back in 2014. I was in transition year and it was around the time that British bloggers come YouTubers such as Zoe Sugg (Zoella), Louise Pentland (Sprinkle of Glitter) and Tanya Burr exploded on the scene. I became inspired by these figures and took it upon myself to set up my own platform whilst I still had the freedom of TY.”
“Initially I based my blog around fashion and beauty reviews however, as the years passed, with a change in name and interests, I started mixing things up in an attempt to make my blog more relatable. Blogger or not, I always feel that unless you avoid social media completely, you are going to come face to face with people, be it on snapchat or Instagram displaying their “perfect” lives,”, she added.
“As a student, this at times can be hard to follow and I do of course feel inadequate in comparison. Living on a student budget is far from easy and despite being a self-proclaimed Brown Thomas addict, I simply cannot afford the lavish life these people live.”
Katie added “being from Ireland, I am a big fan of Irish bloggers such as Suzanne Jackson (So Sue Me), Pippa O’ Connor and Joanne Larby (The Makeup Fairy). I thoroughly enjoy their content, however, as blogger on a budget, it can be quite difficult to keep up with these huge names. As a student, I simply cannot afford to buy and write about everything that’s fresh off the block, be it drugstore or designer and as a result find myself limited to content.”
Katie feels there is a well needed balance with some, that many bloggers and influencers nowadays are, in her opinion, relatable to the likes of students or anyone living on a budget, with more and more “dupe” posts and videos being created along with an incredible amount of Penneys’ hauls.
“I believe that in order to stop feeling bad about our own lives when constantly surrounded by what is portrayed on Instagram, we simply need to appreciate what we have. Forget about what you see on Instagram and just be yourself. For you never know, some day, that might just be you.”
So, is Instagram and its posse the actual problem or is it just being blamed for a problem that existed long before the site did?
Of course, there will always be some form of media or outlet to blame for the pressure put upon young women to live up to such unrealistic standards existing in the world at the given time.
Instagram just happens to be taking current responsibility for this problem.
Maybe the solution to this might just be simply putting our phones away into our very empty pockets. Our Instagram fame and fortune may be yet to come, and if not, we’re probably better off. We might think we have it hard, yet think of what lies ahead for generations of young women to come.
Count your blessings, rather than your followers and likes.