In the past, celebrities showed off in publications, having holidays in exotic places, driving fancy cars or wearing expensive watches.
Today, Instagram has changed the rules.
Nowadays, your neighbour is the one who enjoys holidays in the Maldives, drives the new Mercedes and wears the expensive Rolex.
Because you don't want to be less than your neighbour, you try to replicate his life: going to Croatia, renting a boat and making as life was perfect. You spend hours trying to take the ideal picture; editing and filtering, faking your smile, making others fake their smile as well.
Life needs to look awesome on social media.
Behind the scenes, life is not as fun as on Instagram: kids are crying because they are bored of the boat, wife doesn't pay much attention to you and your mind can't stop thinking of the work that needs to get done after going back.
When someone opens Instagram and notices that you are supposedly enjoying your life on a boat, she/he wants to replicate by going to another nice place. Eventually, Instagram creates a domino effect and it forces people to do things that maybe they don't enjoy: only because of the afterwards picture.
Jason Fried summed it up on his last post on Instagram:
I’ve found myself missing out on live moments because I scrambled to take a picture so I could share it instead. I’ve found myself buying/doing something because I was more excited to share it than to own/do it. I’ve found myself spending hours every month mindlessly scrolling to fill idle time, rather than using that time to mindfully read, learn, think, and pay attention to the things that really enrich me. I often wish I had that time back, rather than spending it the same way again.
Life would be better if we didn't share every piece of it.
Hi, I'm Erik, an engineer from Barcelona. If you like the post or have any comments, say hi.