Instagram is life and up until recently, it’s been a pretty formal platform, some would even consider Instagram a job. But with 2020 being the year of uprooting all of our societal constructs and extra downtime, I’ve been noticing a lot more casual content on the gram. Less filters, less edits, more authenticity and more personality.
I wonder, could it be because we’re finally caring less of what people think? We’re just posting photos for ourselves rather than for social approval? Or could it be because none of us are doing anything so the only things we can post are mundane aspects of our day to day lives?
Flashback to 2015, you know, when Zayn left One Direction, Hotline Bling, oh and when we would just post on Instagram for fun. Sure the food pics, life quotes and selfies got a bit much sometimes but at least it was real. At least people weren’t afraid to be themselves. Fast forward to 2021, it’s become perfectly edited, each pixel is framed and we’ve always got to be showing how great our lives are. But life sometimes isn’t constantly great.
Somehow over the past few years, Instagram has become a highlight reel, over competitive and not a nice place to be in general. We’ll spend hours getting that perfect photo, editing the hell out of it and brainstorming the perfect caption. And for what? A like?
And we’ve all been there. Polishing our Instagrams, carefully curating the perfect version of our life in tiny squares, hoping someone will see it and think we’re cool. We’ve all felt like sharing something but something in your brain tells you it’s not interesting enough, it’s not ‘vibe-y’ enough or it doesn’t go with your aesthetic.
Well, I guess that’s why we made private Instagrams or ‘finstas’, right? The finsta: home to the hangover selfies, embarrassing stories and inside jokes. A more accurate representation of our true selves. A shameless habitat for the blurry photos, behind the scenes, the ones that didn’t make it to the main.
Yet over the past few months, I’ve seen a number of influencers, celebrities and regular people posting photo dumps containing random and candid images fresh off the camera roll. Kind of like a 10 picture carousel of their day. I love it, TBH. And the best part of a photo dump is that it can be whatever you want it to be: food, furniture, fashion, anything.
To see people just posting their images freely is such a liberating thing. It’s as if there’s not a care in the world and feels like the world isn’t on fire. It’s as if people are like me, where not everyday is perfect and aesthetic. No filters, no edits just a photograph. The informalness reminds me that there’s a person behind all the likes, the followers and the screen. And it’s truly refreshing.
So just post that photo and screw it, #makeinstagramcasualagain.
Words by Anna Lowe