Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Tumblr, Instagram Should Come With a Warning: Bad for Self Esteem




The superficial in me always exclaims how ‘perfect’ the girls on Tumblr and Instagram are. 

You may want to scold me for what I’m writing next. You may point out that I have low self esteem and insecurities. You may even suggest some self-help books. But everyone has days when they feel a little low of themselves and today is my day.

Whenever I log into Instagram and see the popular page, you always have girls… well look for yourself (I don’t want to get sued or get into trouble for posting other people’s pics). 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks like this. I’m sometimes in awe of the beauty and the fabulous on Instagram and Tumblr and I have encountered many people thinking the same thing. Nevertheless,  Photoshop, angles, lighting, make-up and Instagram filters result in people looking differently compared to how they really do in real life. I'm making myself feel better by repeating this notion. 
I have used many pictures of myself and put a filter on Instagram because the original pic without filter is frankly… quite frightening sometimes. I suppose this is the very reason why many other people use Instagram filters… or Pixlromatic filters (they have better filters by the way).  

The use of Instagram filters is so common that it has now become commonplace to put #nofilter on Instagram if you post a filter free pic. To me that says 'hey look at me; a nice picture of me which didn’t require any filter to hide the bags under my eyes and the blemishes on my face’, why thank you for letting the world know how you really look like. 

#NoFilter is a helpful indicator for people like me (on those bad days when I feel a little low). I know you’re not fooling anyone about the way you look and we see the real deal; you’re reminding us that you’re human and that you’re probably not perfect yourself... or you’re reminding us that you’re perfect with or without filter.

One trend I began to realise (and to be honest it makes complete sense, how can your pics get on the popular page if you don't get enough likes?), the Instagram people who get on the popular page are always the people with many followers and they tend to have a good blog, or they are a celebrity/socialite or popular YouTuber. What they have, is something that everyone likes.. so they do deserve to be on that page. 

The people on Tumblr are something else though (probably in a bad way). The ‘Tumblr Famous’ phenomenon is only known to those who are on Tumblr… because really, who outside of Tumblr knows these ‘Tumblr Famous’ unless they do something significant besides Tumblr itself? Many generate their own pictures, some using webcams and they’re still successful with thousands of notes, others opt for a DSLR (I have to admit though that some take very beautiful pictures). 

Other Tumblr people rely on making gifs. Some gifs and pics are nice but the whole cute face, puckered lips (duck lips) look is stale and tired. Some gifs are also quite cheesy and unoriginal but they have 50K notes so they must be doing something right... 

I have also seen girls try hard to get this Tumblr ‘noteriety’ by posting nudes. If you feel that this is what you need to do in life, by all means go for it; but you’re exposing yourself to unwanted attention.. But you probably know this already... it comes with the territory, doesn't it?
It's sad that *I* have somehow handed my self-esteem over to Tumblr, Instagram and the WWW to keep and regulate... something which should have never happened. I would be lying if I said I wasn't affected by the online world and the media. In my defence, being affected by Tumblr and Instagram is the same as being affected by the mainstream media (in my opinion).

What does Tumblr and Instagram fame/popularity do anyways? Nothing but make you popular on those platforms... it will probably open up some doors outside of the internet but let's not pretend that's common. Last I checked, Tumblr/Instagram popularity doesn’t pay any bills (unless you have ads on Tumblr). It doesn’t help you in school. It probably won’t be useful on your C.V. either..
Lastly, the people on Tumblr and Instagram (most likely) work hard to look the way they do. They are good at applying make-up (some are, not all), they work out (some do, not all), they work to pay for their awesome gadgets and the clothes they wear (some do, not all). Commoners like me who prefer to spend time reading rather than applying make-up or going to uni in sweat pants and hoodies do not invest any time in that sort of thing. There's more to life. 

Anyhow, me on my best days knows that Tumblr and Instagram are an online thing and can never be used as a determinant of success, beauty, self-esteem, self-confidence and more. There’s a big world out there and the online world should only be a small part of it.