Live life for the moment, not the ‘Gram

What makes a photograph Instagram worthy?

Is it looking great in the photo? Doing something wild everyone will be jealous of?

This new idea of being Instagram worthy is that a photograph must portray someone a certain way or be interesting to everyone viewing it. This doesn’t just apply to Instagram. For millennials, all forms of social media have some sort of secret code of what you have to post to get likes or favorites.

People often do things just for the Instagram photo either because they have to meet their weekly quota of posts or because they want everyone to think that what they did that day was so tremendous. At every concert, there is always a plethora of people who are just taking Snapchats the whole concert. They end up not enjoying the concert and watching it through the screen of a phone. Not to mention distracting everyone else by blocking their view with their cellphone screen.

Although social media can bring people together, it can distance them as well. When someone spends all their time snapchatting an event, focusing on getting the perfect Instagram photo or even just sitting with friends, scrolling through social media, it detaches them from the real world. It keeps them from enjoying others’ company.

What if people made a conscious effort to put away their phones when they were with people? Maybe they would enjoy others’ company more, make more meaningful memories and remember the experience, not just the “insta-worthy” photograph they took.

Lots of people talk about how social media is fake and just a perception of someone. Arguably, though, people are the same in person. They want everyone to have a perception of them and they’re often fake as well.

Although this is not true for everyone in every case, often people even feel like they must be “worthy” in front of family and friends. Those are the people that they should never feel judged by or feel like they have to live up to a special standard.

Social media can be toxic. People spend hours scrolling through their timelines and worrying about what others are doing. They often judge others based on their posts and screenshot things to send to their friends; making fun of the person’s post that was captured via screenshot.

It’s not anyone’s place to judge and putting others down should never make someone feel better about themselves.

Social media should be about bringing people together and helping people stay connected. People should post what they want without the fear of being judged. Posts should be meaningful to the poster; it is not about the number of likes a post receives. Those likes are not quantifiable in real life. Memories and experiences are

Jessica Hubble is a freshman journalism major from Arlington. She is a staff writer for the Lariat.