In the modern world, people are obsessed with photography. Gone are the days of disposable cameras – when we had to click away and hope for the best. Now, almost every electronic device we own contains a camera of some sort, and at absolutely no extra cost, we are able to take hundreds – if not thousands – of snaps until we get the picture we’ve been dreaming of.
Nowhere is this more apparent than on the popular photo sharing app Instagram. Everyone is encouraged to be a photographer there, and because we’re such a naturally competitive bunch, it’s led to some pretty extreme behavior in an attempt to get pictures which are #Instaworthy. But sadly, this has resulted in a slew of photographs where all is not what it seems.
Take candid photographs, for example. On social media, nine times out of ten they are anything but candid, and when we click like or leave a positive comment, we’re conveniently forgetting the fact that there were probably about 20 other near-identical pictures of this same pose taken that just didn’t make the cut. This process is even worse for selfies.
While I’m all for creativity, when it’s as staged as this, from an artistic point of view, you have to question how valid it is. After all, in a lot of photography competitions, behavior like this is out of the question. So, to shed light on the not-so-amorous reality of Instagram pictures, we’ve compiled a collection of the mundane scenes where many of these snaps were taken.
One of the biggest downsides of social media is the effect which it has on people’s mental health and Instagram, in particular, is guilty of giving people unrealistic expectations about what their life should look like because it’s centered around photographs. And let’s be honest, none of us are going to showcase the boring and often messy reality of our lives on the app.
A good example of this is the picture above. To Instagram users, this a fabulous shot of an enviable working environment. When zoomed out on, however, it becomes all too apparent that this bedroom is nowhere near as glamorous or as well put together as the picture suggests – although, admittedly, I think that adorable kitten should have been included in the shot.
And while this extremely adventurous selfie stick snap might look like the epitome of #RelationshipGoals, I think we can all agree that no selfie is worth losing your life for. Snaps this dangerous certainly would have been a no-no in the not so distant past.
On the subject of dangerous pictures, it’s not just selfie-takers who go to extreme lengths for social media, models do it too.
Check out the video below to see on Instagram model risk her life for the perfect damsel in distress snap:
As much as there are some jobs where risking your life is a noble thing to do – like in the military, for example – when you’re profession centers around looking good, I think I’d rather take my chances with a traditional modeling studio. Absolutely nothing is worth dangling over a skyscraper for, even if it’s a pretty sizable paycheck. After all, accidents can and do happen.
Case in point, this Instagram model who became shark show during a photoshoot:
Shortly after this picture was taken, the model was dragged by the arm underwater. Thankfully, the story didn’t end in Jaws-esque tragedy and she did manage to break free. But the cool picture above definitely wasn’t worth the horror snap below!
Sometimes people can be a lot smarter than the models above when it comes to getting the perfect #Instaworthy snap, and with all the complex photo editing technology available, it’s possible to stage just about anything on social media.
This was why @theslowtraveler decided to fake a birthday trip to Disneyland to prove just how fake Instagram can be.
A few days after her original Instagram post wracked up thousands of likes and comments, @theslowtraveler revealed that the entire thing was staged and subsequently gave her followers a much-needed reminder that what they see online isn’t always a reflection of reality. Most of us spend our evenings doing nothing interesting and that’s totally okay. Life isn’t a fairytale.
“We all want to see others’ bright life moments and show all best things that we have,” she wrote after the stunt.
It’s not just people who are directly guilty of posing in unrealistic ways on Instagram. The same is also true of the pictures we take of some of the most impressive landmarks in the world – like the world’s longest glass bridge.
Built in 2016, it is situated in Zhangjiajie, China. It was constructed a whopping 985 ft in the air and quickly became a very popular tourist attraction – so popular, in fact, that the government has had to close it several times.
Because the bridge looks so impressive in pictures, it was visited by Business Insider’s international correspondent, Harrison Jacobs. However, instead of finding a marvel worth promoting, he concluded that it was a traveler’s worst nightmare.
Jacobs revealed that while the bridge looks impressive in pictures, in reality, you’ll be faced with hordes of screaming and arguing tourists as you queue up to step on it, and that’s not to mention how crowded it is when you’re actually there.
He said that it’s almost impossible to enjoy what would be an otherwise impressive view because there are so many people snapping identical pictures. Jacobs also said that it’s difficult to even look down at the 985 ft drop.
Jacobs’ experience is yet another a testament to the fact that what we see on social media isn’t always a reflection of reality.
Although I don’t want to end this article on a completely cynical note, and it’s worth mentioning that it is possible to get genuinely impressive pictures – just don’t try too hard, enjoy the world around you, and the #Instaworthy snaps will come naturally.