When it comes to using Instagram, I tend to see myself as some would say “obsessed”. I started my account in late 2015 and have managed to build myself a following, even a “personality” through the photos I upload and the filters I use. In terms of presenting myself to the public eye, I used to use various apps to manipulate my images to make them more “appealing” to my followers, but it wasn’t until recently I asked myself “Why am I so focused on my own image and creating this aesthetic layout of my life?”
In BCM241 this semester, we are looking at media, audiences and places that we use daily and reflect on. The (non-binding) topic I’m looking to research came to me while I recently took a small yet much-needed vacay from all my social media platforms. Deleting all my apps and logging off made me discover something about myself, Social media consumed me and let me tell you, it was true. The concept of creating this perceived identity of myself in a digital world started to take its toll on me. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking photos but before I knew it my account became a chore. This meaning it became the first thing I thought about in the morning to the last at night and it was driving me insane. A month ago I would’ve told you it’s a place where I show the world who I am through the camera lens and the countless candids. But today, I think Instagram is a small place with its big impacts, allowing yourself too caught up in everyone else’s perceptions of yourselves, doesn’t only kill your like count but it picks at your self-esteem… (Not a cliché reply, promise)
The means of my research I want to focus on the use of “Private” Instagram accounts and why we perceive ourselves differently in terms of choosing who can see the content you post and who can’t. Private Instagram accounts are a form of hidden reality breaking away from our main accounts. For example, people may use a private account to post those messy photos of them and their friends out on the town but post a candid and adding a filter to match their feed on their main accounts. These differentiated perceptions of ourselves from reality to a public profile made me curious. More and more people are choosing to create two different accounts, posting opposite content and I want to find out why.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I want to know why we are so caught up in the world of public perceptions on Instagram and how the choice to privatise ourselves on such a public platform changes the way we are viewed as individuals.
So there you have it, my draft research assessment (not bound).
Stay salty and stay posted,