PHOTO: On the left is Davis High junior Alicia Joo, who is currently posting more casually on Instagram. On the right is DHS alumnus Sandy McGlothlin who posts more professional pictures. Although their usage is different, they both advocate for posting whatever a user is personally comfortable with publishing on social media.
By Sarah Kim,
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms that teens and adults use every day. Students at Davis High use it for multiple purposes: to promote their clubs and school events as well as to show the life they have with their friends and family. However, in recent times, some students believe that Instagram should be “casual” rather than being used to promote the picture-perfect side of people’s lives. These students go against the unspoken rule of “only upload photos that portray the best of your life.”
Posting casually does have many perks. Many people, especially women and girls, feel the need to only post pictures that conform to society’s beauty standards. Some edit their faces and bodies unrealistically to feel and look better when beauty itself is subjective. Posting pictures that show a more realistic face and body would be much healthier for the users as well as for their followers.
It is also noted that with COVID-19, influencer and celebrity culture has been receiving backlash. Without being able to post their pictures in an aesthetic, opulent way outside, oftentimes they had to rely on their personalities to keep their relevance on social media platforms. Posting casually is often ways people creatively and freely express themselves; it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing photo on people’s timeline, but the picture itself (whether it is simple as a rock or a photo of friends) would show the user’s characteristics and life from a raw perspective.
For many, posting casually also means posting whatever they want, rather than succumbing to peer pressure. Instead of following content trends, they can post what makes them feel happy and proud.
Junior Alicia Joo recently decided to post more casually and be more creative with her photos, and she encourages her friends to do the same.
“I do post weird, random posts but I like it and enjoy it, so I post it anyways,” Joo said.
However, it’s important to note that posting in a more professional, “perfect” way has its perks as well. As social media becomes a platform to promote oneself, more people use it as a portfolio for their future jobs and positions, as a photo resume. Many companies and employers will look at the employee or the worker’s Instagram for any information, and for those purposes it would be best to keep a very professional, “perfect” image of oneself.
For example, for DHS alumni Sandy McGlothlin, using Instagram in a way to market herself and look professional is important for her. On top of being active on Instagram to interact with her friends, she uses her page as a way to promote her content she uploads on Youtube as well as to boost engagement for her school-related activities.
“Companies will look at your social media and judge off from it […] So by pushing to make posts more casual, employers might look at that as unprofessional,” McGlothlin said.
Though there are a mixture of perks and downsides for posting on Instagram more casually, it is indeed refreshing to be free from the pressure and inspection from peers and others on a personal Instagram page.