In a profile of Instagram’s new video feature, New York Times technology writer Jenna Wortham offers a unique perspective on Instagram and, by proxy, all social media:
Instagram isn’t about reality – it’s about a well-crafted fantasy, a highlights reel of your life that shows off versions of yourself that you want to remember and put on display in a glass case for other people to admire and browse through. It’s why most of the photographs uploaded to Instagram are beautiful and entertaining slices of life and not the tedious time in-between of those moments, when bills get paid, cranky children are put to bed, little spats with friends.
Checking social media is distracting but also can lead to the feeling that you’re missing out on something, when in reality you’re just getting the best of the best moments from your entire social network. It’s enough to make us question if we’re having enough fun, or spending our day the right way. As author Steve Furtick said: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”