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26 February 2013

Is your lunch fuelling social media?

Jak & Jil

I’ve been hit by a car. The car is metaphorical, and it was less of a ‘hit’ more a ‘sudden moment of clarity and realization’, but allow me to explain. So a few days ago I thought it would intriguing to reflect back on the photos I’ve liked recently on Instagram (I’m revising ok, I get bored) and the most recent one was a picture of a sausage dog on stilts. Fair enough, how often do you see something like that, right? A picture of someone’s salad followed this and then the nail was really driven home when I had apparently mistakenly liked my own selfie. I felt oddly out of place, suddenly contemplating, why? Why was that inedible salad worth my hypothetical love? Thus came the said moment of clarity, divided into 3 parts:

Firstly it occurred to me that we are all narcissistic, and as much as we are narcissistic, we are nosy. The very idea that someone cares about my lunch, or my outfit or an awkward close up of my face is vaguely self-important, though often not intending to be. Of course, we are gratified by the fact that people do like and comment on these snippets of our life. Just last weekend an upside down selfie I posted received something like 30 likes (#humblebrag) , was it the enticing black and white filter that brought about this event? More likely it was just the fact that humans, by nature, are nosy. You’d be hard pressed to disagree that these two traits, narcissism and curiosity, are engrained in the human condition and don’t go hand in hand to support social media. Treat them with disdain if you wish, but without them social media would crumble and I’d have to call you all and describe my lunch. This would be counter-productive.

Secondly came the thought that in reality we are all looking for that little slice of love and gratification. I would be lying if I said positive comments didn’t make me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside (slight over statement, I don’t get warm and fuzzy…just less cold) in the same way that negative comments tend to make anyone’s confidence drop for just a nano-second, regardless of their basis in fact or lack there-of. If I post a picture of my lunch salad and you comment saying ‘yum!’ then 1) I know you’re lying because salad taste like plants and 2) you’re basically telling me I could be a 5 star Michelin chef. Summary? It’s nice to be cyber-loved.

Finally and perhaps more worryingly came the realization that sites like instagram, twitter and now vine (does anyone else keep thinking ‘holy mother why is this instagram moving') allow us to project a persona. Unwittingly we present ourselves in a certain way. Examples? I post a picture of myself at the gym, I’m essentially implying I’m a semi-professional athlete or at least somewhat athletic and healthy. What about a picture of my new Zara shoes? Am I not implying I’m sartorially capable and ‘trendy’? By the end of a day of instagramming and tweeting and vining (is that a thing yet?) I’ve likely projected so many personas the whole thing becomes convoluted. Most of the time these assumptions won't be negative, but what about when you start to unintentionally present yourself in a negative light, or a way that does not accurately portray your values. It is frightening to realize that pictures speak louder than words, or in the case of twitter, that 140 characters can create a persona. By giving people glimpses into our lives, are we presenting a facade rather than ourselves? 
You know what they say; you are what you eat tweet.

35 comments:

  1. Amen. Amen. I last week realized that I was way too obsessed with how many likes I got on a random photo. I realized then that I was basing my satisfaction on how many people liked my photo. How ridiculous is that?? I haven't posted on Instagram since then, I think a time-out would be good for me.

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  2. oh dear when i saw a salad in your pics i always write salads because - i love salad, i think salad CAN be delicious and the photo of salad simply looks nice - delicious, but i totally agree with the rest of your speech !!! we all live in a cyber-world and i really don't know if it's a good thing for us...
    kisses

    http://franchemeetsfashion.blogspot.cz/

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  3. Camilla, I am loving these new posts from you! I like a ridiculous amount of food photos on instagram..

    Julia x

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  4. Great post and absolutely true. I think that we use our technology platforms to make ourselves look better and it is silly to think that we get excited when people comment or like a photo of a salad that we make, but I think that's just how we function as humans. We like to be liked!

    Now following on twitter, hope you'll do the same :)

    http://www.hsquaredfashion.com/

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  5. such an interesting read! i agree, in a way we choose what we put on these apps ect.. leaving out the bits about our lives like where we just caught outselfs singing around our bedroom to some awful xfactor acts to boasting about other things! does this produce a fake-picture-perfect image of us? hmmm.. wonders of technology
    A
    www.23ofashion.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. Wow, this is such an interesting post. It's a good thing you just reflect and realize what we're actually doing nowadays. I don't have Instagram, but I do get your point. It's like we try to 'prove' how interesting we and our lives are trough photos. And yes, I also think it's a matter of getting positivism. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  7. This is one of the most interesting post I've read. I totaly agree with you, we live in a society that is to appear and show they are better, it's very sad truth

    xoxo

    http://fashionbohem.blogspot.com.es/2013/02/little-talks.html

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  8. Too true, sometimes I think I should give up my phone/facebook/twitter/instagram/tumblr just for a week and see how much more of the world around me I truly experience.

    <3 dani
    www.shopdisowned.com
    http://disownedclothing.blogspot.com

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  9. I love the way your blog is evolving,keep it up!

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  10. That text really made me think. I love your recent text posts, you are really good at expressing your ideas and i absolutely love the way you write!

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  11. great post this is so interesting, i love your ideas on these issues x

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  12. I can see how your words can hold water for most people (probably like 99,99 % of the world's population:)) but I hate social media.:) I don't have a FB account or Instagram or whatever, I just recently set up a Twitter account for my blog. Why do I blog? Because I love to write and I hope it will help me land a career in writing someday. Why do I post photos of myself on my blog? Because that 99,99 % are like children, who like books only when they're full of pictures.:) It's a marketing tool and I HATE it.:) But I'd be stupid if I didn't use it. The end.:D

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  13. Cool post! :D

    http://nudelovesnerd.blogspot.de/

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  14. I love photographing my food for instagram (haha, well I am a food blogger, what do you expect) because I think it lets my followers see a bit more about other foods I'm making, maybe to give them a little inspiration and make myself seem more approachable and human-ish. Plus people can tag me in photos of the food they've made from my blog, and it's always nice to know someone is actually reading your posts :) I 100% agree with your last paragraph too, I always automatically assume that someone is bragging about their workout if they post a gym photo, even though chances are they aren't.

    P.s. your 'warm and fuzzy'/'less cold' comment made me laugh SO MUCH. I am exactly the same, and it reminded me of this http://waitareyoujoking.tumblr.com/post/41933473287

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  15. I always find it interesting when big time bloggers or instagramer with tens of thousands of followers post a picture of the least exciting specimen of food and get tons of likes. And I just sit there thinking, was it a knee jerk reaction to just double tap or are they GENUINELY interested in a piece of toast with melting butter on it. Maybe this one looked uder exotic ? Who knows ? And as for selfies, I am guilty of them I admit, but I find they only work if you are showing a makeup look or you are some hot 'babe' with a legion of male followers who just want to see you make a duck face.

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  16. Very true - it is very easy to fall into measuring our self-worth, or even just our online self-worth, by how we are responded to rather than what we can actually -do- with these amazing technological platforms.

    Also, you are really freaking smart, and I wish I had had this much insight when I was your age.

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  17. I really love how you analyze yourself, I do that too. I truly believe by psychoanalyzing yourself you are then truly honest with who you are on some levels. Yes, I'm openly accepting of being a narcissistic, but in a modern sense that we are all narcissists. I'm no model and god knows I'm not a celeb, but the narcissisticsm stems from virtual validations we get from facebook, instagrams and comments. And omg I totally agree with all the points, it's kinda sad reading this but we gotta be honest, we're trying to create a persona and life by building "fake" memories through photos. I recently went to some afterparties for LFW and the snaps that my friend took of me made me look like a socialite but the truth is I'm not, it just looked like it even with me not intentionally wanting it to be. The sad thing is I linked it to my facebook hoping more people to see it. I was consciously and subconsciously sending a message to people I know (who I think some don't like me for being a blogger) to show them that I live a fab life. Omg, I just rambled on your page, hope I shed some insight on my part hun.

    xx The Provoker

    P.S. Let me start following you on instagram ;)

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  18. This is fucking brilliant. You are spot on!

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  19. amazing post...I just started a new blog. check it out and follow each other?

    http://aissatak.blogspot.com

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  20. Awesome article, a really good read! x

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  21. I love when you post article like this one ! Your point of view is really interesting and your sense of humour ... brilliant ! Keep going Camilla ! Lots of Love xx

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  22. Very interesting article and I have to say it's absolutely true. A week ago a friend asked me did you like my photo on instagram and I replied oh your new shoes yeah they're amazing to which friend responds but no did you 'like' it. It occurred to me then how ridiculous and completely meaningless this question was - technological appreciation has fast become more worthy than real life appreciation.
    Thanks for posting this, it was a joy to read!

    HannahMay

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  23. I like "rants" or posts like this, it makes you think. I think you kinda hit the nail on head really, this is so relevant today. How did we become so obsessed with wanting to have people now what salad we had? Yes, I confess, likes do make me happy. I guess we can just go back to basic psychology: at the social level of analysis. Principle 1: We are all humans that have the need to belong. Feeling loved through social media is the modern way of making that happen I guess.

    Amalie
    xx

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  24. Put simply we have become our own publicist.

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  25. Our brains works the same way.

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  26. love your texts!!! and you followed me on instagram, made my day haha :D

    xxx

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  27. you're right, it's nice to be cyberloved. And I hope that vining isn't a word haha. Great post!
    xo Charlotte - aliceroxy

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  28. Awesome picture! And great post:)

    http://theprintedsea.blogspot.de/

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  29. "I know you’re lying because salad taste like plants"

    Hahahaha I <3 you more and more everyday.

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  30. I think it's crazy that our hypothetical children will grow up without knowing a world without social media. Children so young are professional self branders, which will be great for future marketing and advertising but could be detrimental for them to find peace with themselves.
    But I also blog/ enjoy social media :/

    Great post :)

    xx

    theawkwardkidsclub.blogspot.com.au

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  31. boy can you write.
    got me now thinking about this whole thing. damn. thanks for the "car".

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  32. You're a wonderful writer and god good glad someone else thinks Vine is kinda odd.

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  33. The entire outfit rocks, you look so cool in it.

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