Viewpoint: Insta-pics detract from life experiences

Abby Loop | Staff Writer
Abby Loop
Abby Loop

By Abby Loop
Staff Writer

We’ve all been guilty of scrolling through Instagram, uploading our own pictures and liking other people’s pictures and seeing who likes our own. But how much is too much?

Today, it seems like no one can do anything without snapping a picture of it and uploading it to some form of social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter or mainly Instagram. Capturing every one of our everyday moments is slowly taking away from our actual life experiences as it all becomes just another photo that you hope will get a lot of “likes.”

On my own Instagram feed, I’ve seen countless pictures of what people are eating, what people are wearing that day, who their celebrity crush is and what view they are currently enjoying.

The point of these pictures is not just to show off great photography or even a good picture, it’s also to let other users’ followers know what is happening in their lives and what they are experiencing. Snapping a picture of whatever we’re eating, doing, or wearing has become just as common as whatever we’re photographing. The phrase “pictures or it didn’t happen” is almost becoming a reality.

What’s worse is that some people think Instagram automatically makes them into artsy photographers.

I have a friend who constantly takes pictures of random objects, such as their coffee cup, their mailbox or their lamp, add some heavy filters and then proceed to caption it with some deep saying.

While some photographers can make simple subjects turn into great photos, having random pictures of household items on your Instagram feed is not usually ideal.

Whether people are posting pictures of random objects or selfies, we are ceasing to actually see things.

When looking at a pretty sunset, my first thought is to grab my phone and take a picture of it. When having dinner with friends, before eating, many of them will take out their phones and snap a picture of it first. Just the other night, when leaving my apartment, a group of girls were getting ready to leave. But before they did, one of them exclaimed, “Group selfie first!”

Our life’s experiences have all become showcase opportunities. Everyone wants validation that their picture and what they’re doing or how they look is “likeable.”

Instagram gives us the ability to share our lives, edit them through filters that enhance, and enable us to show the world what we want them to see.

One of my friends won’t be happy with her Instagram picture unless she gets 11 “likes.” After 11 likes, the names of the people who have liked your photo disappear and it’s just the number that’s shown.

It’s become less about the picture and more about the reaction to it.

While it’s OK to take pictures and make memories, becoming obsessed with the camera on your phone isn’t. Not every little thing has to be shared with the people who follow you on social media; some things can and should be seen with your eyes and not taken by a camera and seen through a filter.

Abigail Loop is a senior journalism major from Brownsville. She is a staff writer for the Lariat.