Home 2018 Collegiate Magazine Pics or it didn’t happen

Pics or it didn’t happen

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Brooklyn Andres Facetimes with her friends. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Andres.

By Brooklyn Andres

You probably skipped dinner last night since we didn’t see a picture of food on your Instagram story. And did you really go to that concert if we didn’t see videos of it on Snapchat? Are you sure you met Selena Gomez yesterday? Because we missed your Facebook post if you did.

Pics or it didn’t happen.

It’s 2018 and admit it, we are obsessed with our image. But how couldn’t we be? Today we can’t go anywhere or do anything without feeling like it needs to be documented. Pictures and videos control us. We are in the constant state of mind that if we don’t capture the moment with our phone’s camera, that memory will be lost forever or even worse, our social status will plummet.

Think of how many times a day you walk past people taking pictures of their beverages, videos of their surroundings, or snapping selfies. Now before you judge, realize you’ve done it too. We all have. Possibly out of habit, but more than likely due to the pressure of social media, we felt compelled to post.

In our society today, we are fixated on the idea of fitting in. We feel the need to always have our phone in hand in case a photo opportunity presents itself. We cannot pass up the opportunity to show off the fact that we are part of a global trend. Whether that trend is a drink that everyone is trying or a dance that everyone is doing, we want to be seen taking part in it. Now, what happens if the chance for a good photo doesn’t present itself? Easy, we make our own reality in which it does.

Let me introduce you to the motto “Do it for the Gram,” a saying that is slowly beginning to trend. “Doing it for the Gram” entails doing something with the sole intention of posting it on social media. The purpose behind the photo or video is to have it end up on one of the social platforms whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. There doesn’t always have to be some daring purpose behind the picture or video, and commonly there isn’t.

Though the level of anxiety is shown to be about the same when it comes to posting photos, it’s seen that the source for this anxiety varies between men and women. While women tend to stress more over the thought of the amount of likes, men tend to feel anxious when it comes to who specifically is going to like their photo. It’s a common trend that behind each man’s Instagram post there’s a specific target in mind. He is hoping that a certain group of people or athletes will see the photo and approve. In some ways this is seen a modern Great Gatsby technique. Instead of the lavish parties thrown in hopes of attracting the attention of Daisy Buchanan, we post. We know what time of day will get the most likes, we know what our followers like to see, and above it all we have a particular target in mind and we do everything we possibly can to make sure that they will attend the “elaborate party” and enjoy our photo.

When you add up how long it took to get ready, take, edit, strategize and eventually post a photo, we are looking at hours that were wasted. On top of that, think of how much stress was felt during the process and the pressure that you were under while trying to achieve the definition of beauty or prominence. Why did you feel obligated to post? Were you just “doing it for the Gram?”

I’m not suggesting we stop posting because social media can truly be a wonderful thing. I’m simply here to remind you that life won’t pass us by if we forget to take a picture. Life goes on and things DO happen regardless if there was a picture taken. Our coffee will taste the same without the Snapchat filter, the concert will still be amazing if we forget to take a video, and we will be just as beautiful regardless of how many likes our Instagram followers give us. And who knows, without all that pressure, maybe life will even be a little more enjoyable, a little more private.

Remember, you don’t owe picture proof to anyone.