I remember growing up in a time when being an outfit repeater was the end of your social life. Yes this is me acting as though I had one but fast forward 10 years and your social life now happens in a virtual world, and the Instagram age has taken over our brains. And that is no exaggeration. We are constantly pressured by the platform to have it all, and to do this at an unrealistic pace, blasted by flash images of amazing looking people and amazing looking locations. The romanticism of an unrelenting schedule and an imbalanced work life can have you chasing something that is not necessarily good for you. When I first got into the “Intsa Game”, let’s just call it that for now, of doing weekly photoshoots for my blog & for my feed, I noticed that a lot of bloggers I was following always had a different outfit in each photo. I didn’t feel a huge amount of pressure to buy more clothes, though I imagine that a lot of teenagers probably would, but it was more a case of whether I was competing with feeds where people were let’s say, not outfit repeaters. It made me think about what a relevant Instagram feed look liked and whether that was one of the fundamental reasons why people followed you, because they knew they were getting a different look every day. The pressure to consume has always been around us, that came with Capitalism. Most of us were born into it. But the negative impact that social media has had on us is forcing us to be more aware of the changes we are experiencing when using platforms like Instagram and actively take steps to better our wellbeing. I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether Instagram rolls back on the likes we get per post and if this would have a positive effect on us in the long run. But one thing I’ve admired I guess, is the transparency that UK bloggers now need to show on their Instagram feeds by law. You may have noticed the annoyance when this first became a thing some months ago, of how ‘challenging’ it would be to state which of their pieces are sponsored, gifted, on loan etcetera, and how interesting it was just to see how much of what you are consuming is pure advertising. And though it was a case of ‘it goes without saying’ and a self evidence to a lot of us that regular people don’t actually buy this much stuff, the awareness it brought was a positive change in our consumerist culture. So if you’re a micro influencer or just use social media platforms for the fun of it, then I hope this helps you gain perspective so that you don’t feel the need to consume a ridiculous amount of things you don’t need.
Photos by Achmat Booley