Life through a filter


This morning I enjoyed a particularly satisfying smoothie. But you see, not only did I drink my smoothie this morning, I proceeded to photograph it, spend a good few minutes picking an appropriate filter and then post it to Instagram. I made sure that the filter I had picked brought out the colours perfectly, and that the arrangement of the photo was up to scratch.

I love instagram. In fact I might even love it enough to say that it might possibly be my favourite form of social media. Sorry twitter, but there's just something so satisfying about mindlessly scrolling through pretty pictures of flowers and copious amounts of food porn. Yet sometimes I'll find myself looking at someone's pictures, and wishing my life was a little more like theirs.

There's nothing particularly wrong with photographing your breakfast, or your cat or all the things you just 'accidentally' bought in Boots. There's nothing wrong with mulling over the perfect filter, cropping and adding in various effects. There's nothing wrong with taking the time to lay out your cup of tea so that you can also get a glimpse of those fresh flowers you just happen to have lying around.

What I think people need to remember is that, in general, people are only going to post what they want you to see. So many lives can come across as perfect, and this is because their life has been 'filtered' - excuse the bad pun - to be Instagram worthy. It's so easy to see a shot of someone's perfectly manicured hands, their trip to New York and their colour coordinated wardrobe and think they have it all. Many a time have I scrolled through someone's photos and thought 'Wow, their life must be amazing.' Maybe it is but, then again, it's probably not.

The next time you find the Instagram jealousy kicking in or you think someone has it all, bear in mind that you're just viewing their life through a filter. You're only seeing what someone wants you to see, so enjoy it, but don't read too much into it.