3 Instagram Traps I Fall Into
Over the weekend, my family and I went to a nice, little town in Tennessee for a birthday celebration. It wasn’t a perfect trip, but no trip ever is. We had a good time. We visited a pumpkin patch and ate a lot of good food. We stayed in a really nice house. Naturally, we documented all of this with pictures and several of them ended up on Instagram.
If I had to pick a favorite social media platform, it would probably be Instagram. With Instagram, you get less drama and more pictures! It seems like the mostly good corner of social media. As I’ve been thinking about it—just like any other social media platform—Instagram reveals my sinfulness. Here are three ways I see my sinfulness through Instagram.
The front facing camera brought the selfie revolution. Being able to take pictures of ourselves means we can document almost all that we do. Much of that documentation ends up on social media platforms. If I’m honest with you, I like me more than you like me. Because I enjoy myself as a subject, I want you to see me too. This is vanity.
My vanity means that I easily make excuses for my failures and mistakes. I often think I deserve things that I really don’t. I can see myself as more important than others and try to assert my importance. This is all because I have a high view of myself. I also want you to have a high view of me so I have to try and hide the blemishes I find.
Filters allow me to cover up things I may not want you to see. Filters on social media can be fun, which is why everyone gave their information to the Russians so they could see what they looked like as old people. Filters also hide unwanted blemishes and smooth things up. In fact, my wife pointed out to me that the portrait mode on my phones camera automatically slaps a filter on my face to hide my ugly (she didn’t say it like that).
Once again, many of these filters show my vanity. I want people to think I’m attractive. I want to look a little younger. I want to cover up things that may not be deemed as beautiful by our culture. Filters can be an outward expression of my inner heart. Filters can only cover up so many things. I have an image to preserve so there’s one more step to take for me to have my best Instagram life now.
Life is full of ups and downs, but I really want to project my best life on Instagram. That means I’m not putting up pictures where people have their eyes closed. I’m not putting up that picture I caught of my kid falling off the stairs and crying or of one of my daughters hitting her sister. I’m giving you the best of the best because i want you to think I have it all together. Not only is this deceptive of me, it can also cause others to feel jealous or inadequate.
We had a great time over the weekend on our trip, but there were also some really rough times during that trip. We went to the pumpkin patch, but it was also hot and headed toward 90 degrees that day. We visited some restaurants that didn’t turn out as we expected. My daughters disobeyed me multiple times. There were periods in the day where everyone was just tired. None of this makes the social media cut because none of it is glamorous.
What we have to realize is that no one has that perfect life where nothing bad happens. Not even the richest celebrities are immune to the sinfulness that corrupts creation. We all have moments in life that aren’t glamorous. We can all want to project something we’re not.
These realizations mean I need to check my heart when it comes to social media. Why am I posting what I post? Who am I posting it for? What is my end goal? As Christians, we’re called to kill sin. This means thinking critically about our actions in the real world and online.
Below are some perfect trip pics: