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How Instagram Gives Us All a False Sense of Reality

How Instagram Gives Us All a False Sense of Reality

False numbers, false relationships, and false realities. As I scroll down my Instagram newsfeed, I sink into a deeper and deeper pit of pessimism and a false sense of reality.

From aspiring influencers posting “omg thank you so much for 10k followers” posts after purchasing hundreds to thousands of followers by the day to people completely Photoshopping how their bodies look, sometimes it all just feels so fake.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s freaking awesome that people have a platform to share their lives and connect with like-minded people.

I’m speaking about this as a person who has met wonderful, inspiring people through Instagram and makes a living off of it.

Instagram is amazing in so many ways, and there are tons of authentic people and creators out there who aren’t just out there trying to make a quick buck.


It feels like a pay-to-win game

But sometimes it feels like a pay-to-win online role-playing game.

People put out the persona of the person they want to be, and the followers they buy are the amount of gold or whatever valuable game item there is.

The more gold you have, the cooler your character is, and the more cool stuff you can afford.

As an “influencer”, the more followers you have, the more “popular” you are, and the more money you can charge to post on Instagram.

How Instagram gives us all a false sense of reality | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog
Teresa and I spent at least 20 minutes trying to get this shot with our makeshift tripod, awkwardly staring into each other’s eyes and pretending to laugh when we were freezing our butts off in -5 weather. We’ve both been miserably sick for the last month because of all the shooting we’ve done outside in the cold.
Petty Harbour Maddox Cove in St. John's, Newfoundland
Adam and I had an absolutely wonderful trip to Newfoundland a few months ago that I documented on Instagram. What you don’t know is that we stayed in a basement Airbnb filled with dust, hair, spiders, and dead earwigs, and the sink pipe busted open while we were washing dishes. Yes, I travel a lot, but no, I don’t travel glamourously.

I’m a little guilty as well

I’m not going to lie: to an extent, I do paint a false sense of reality.

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I would never buy followers and likes to create a false idea of popularity, but I am going to post the best parts of my life and sometimes I will fake a smile for the sake of a good photo.

For that, I am guilty.

A lot of people want to get rich and famous quick, and Instagram gives them a platform to do that.

When you consume any content, remember to think about it first, and don’t get sucked into false realities.

This is how the world of Instagram is, and it’s up to you on whether you want to make it something positive.

You can make Instagram a more positive place

Follow people who inspire you, and remember not to compare yourself.

If you’re ever in a place of negativity because of social media, just give yourself a digital detox.

Social media is part of (almost) everyone’s lives, whether you’re a blogger or not, so you might as well turn it into something that makes you feel good.

Instagram is full of wonderful ideas and inspiration, from outfits you never would’ve thought to put together, to restaurants you had no idea about in your city, to places you never would’ve imagined traveling to.

Let Instagram be a place where you feel positive and inspired, and I promise you’ll feel a lot happier.


Do you feel like Instagram gives off a false sense of reality? What are some ways to deal with it? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

P.S. if you liked this post, you might like this post on what to do if you’ve lost interest in Instagram, or any of my other posts on wellness.

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Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

How Instagram gives us all a false sense of reality | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog