Here’s the thing. I LOVE to scroll Socials in the same way that I love to watch a movie with directors notes on. If it’s a movie I REALLY love, you can bet that I’ve watched it at least once with the IMBD Trivia section pulled up. I don’t know what that says about my personality, but I do know that I can tell you what I’ve learned from it: most of what we consume is produced FOR our consumption- an effort to vie for our time, money, and attention. Even as I write this blog post, I’m backspacing, rewording and reworking what I want to say so that it has a desired effect on you, dear reader. Love you :)
SOOOO many times, I scroll through, wondering about filters, brand deals, and Poster intentions behind pressing that “Share” button. BUT I realize that while that is my own personality, there may be a few of you who might say “Instagram isn’t Real Life” as a vague comfort to your comparison monster without quite understanding what that means. So here I am to tell you the truth behind the 5 social media lies we believe while we scroll.
1. “This post is posted in real-time.”
False. Let me introduce you to the concept of “batching” content. A lot of posters will
a) use old photos from another time or place, sometimes from a paid professional photographer.
b) take a lot of photos during a vacation, trip, or photo session for use at a later date
c) use a photo taken earlier in the day to represent a busier time. Haven’t you ever taken photos with your friends before you knew the night was going to be a dud?
2. “These “Ask Me Anything” questions are all organic, and this poster always gets good questions!”
Did you know that you can ask yourself questions on your Question boxes on IG? Not all posters do this, but many of them will ask themselves about an event/ product/ merch/ routine they’re trying to promote. Or say, “SOOO many people have asked me blah, blah, blah” and smoothly segue into a concept they’re selling. Oftentimes with branding, we live by the rule that you have to “tell the people what they want before they know they want it.” My point in telling you this is so you don’t feel like your life is less interesting just because you seem to have less engagement.
3. “This poster looks like this each day.”
It’s a Golden Rule-type thing: You won’t post of your outfit on IG unless you love it- JUST like the posters you see only shows their highlight reels of their makeup, hair, outfits and travel. It’s the age-old saying “Social Media is a Highlight Reel”. So make sure you’re scrolling with the same lens that you view your own content. There’s also a whole plethora of lighting, filters, and photoshop that is readily available and heavily utilized. And see Lie #1 to remember our batching. Some posters will even rent spaces to batch photos to post later. Their lives do NOT look like this every day.
4. The “room-inspo” you just liked is an unplanned photo.
There are professional room stagers and brand photographers that makes living off of SELLING this idea, service, product, location. AND if not, I can promise you the scene behind the camera is holding all the mess that was in front of the camera 5 minutes ago (I know because I’ve done it). See again, photoshop to blot out light fixtures and toilets in bathroom mirror selfies. And Filters galore to find the “luxe lighting” we all crave.
5. “Every day is a Content day for most of my favorite posters.”
If you follow any Full-Time posters (like, that’s how they pay all their bills) this one is GREAT to keep in mind. A lot of a Full-Time posters spend a majority of their time in their inboxes, DMs, closing branding deals, realistically recording content a few times a week. But what you see on SOME IG
stories is going to be as raw and unfiltered as it gets. Social Media is a job for them. Just like you wouldn’t necessarily walk into the office or hop on a Zoom unprepared, neither will they hop on the ‘gram without a strategy. Just like you don’t (or shouldn’t) turn reports at work in without giving it a few reviews and getting it approved, you won’t catch these posters promoting without getting it approved by a deadline that is at least a few days before YOU double-tap and comment “YASSS QUEEN”.
I say all this, not to bash content creators. I utilize and implement these strategies, too (and sometimes I think I should do it more often, tbh), but simply to offer a bit of perspective for whenever you get off of this post and go back to instagram. The job these creators (and creator wannabes like me) have is very time consuming, but when you’re spending 5 seconds glancing and double-tapping to get your dopamine hit those posts can look SO effortlessly curated and chic. If you wanna dissect it, slide into my DMs about it. I PROMISE I’m ready to talk about this!