Instagram vs. reality: a picture is worth a thousand words


This guest post is bought to you by Rashon Fuller

My father once said to me in his I’m about to drop some jewels of wisdom voice:

“Son if you live to be 90 years old, and can count your true friends on one hand, you did damn good”

That sure sounded good Dad… and I’m sorry to rain on your wisdom parade, but I’m not even half that age yet and I currently have over 6,000 friends. Well that is if you add my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts together.

So there.

The reality is that we live in a burlesque of social media. Feelings of being weird, friendless, isolated, and alone are no longer in vogue thanks to these incredibly ingenious social platforms.

Well… hang on a minute. Not so fast.

Designers conceived in Instagram a unique concept of delivering content rapidly in the form of photos. These photos are intended to represent your lifestyle. If the metaphor a picture is worth a thousand words holds true, then the photo for content design packs a mean punch!

When you scroll down your timeline you see all the personalities posting the latest event to unfold in their lives. You know they are hoping for a healthy applause communicated through double taps. Those who rank low on the IG social hierarchy often receive very few ‘likes’ after posting their fresh life content, often a reflection of limited followers.

This seriously damages the ego, suggesting one’s life content is either not interesting or not important. Instagram as well as other social media sites has in many ways become a measuring yard for one’s popularity; a judgment of how ‘turned up’ their day-to-day lifestyle is.

We put our life out there to be judged and wait anxiously for approval. It’s not unusual to see people checking their pages via smart phones every few minutes throughout the day, religiously.


If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

Or perhaps the modern equivalent is: “If someone has an experience without taking a selfie, did that experience actually occur?”

What good is delivering this life content if you’re not present to prove it’s your reality? This emotional condition has given birth to the emergence of the ‘selfie’ phenomenon .

Crafty innovations have built in features to an array of hand devices that allow for taking one’s own picture. This creates one more barrier between you and genuine human interaction. I wonder if Steve Jobs had this concept in mind. The interesting thing about social media in general is that it can be played like a game of solitaire. A simple game really: take a selfie, post with a caption, YOU WIN!

No need for interaction with others.

Robert C. Lee once stated “The sweetest sound to an individual is the sound of his own name”.

It’s my guess this is applicable in cyber life; “The sweetest sight one’s eyes can behold is a picture or image of one’s self”. It’s not unusual to see full pages of self-reflections with irrelevant captions.


When did creating the illusion that one’s life is awe-inspiring supplant the necessity of creating an awesome reality?

One of the most powerful activities we can engage in is experiencing the moment with all senses engaged. A few months ago I met one of my favorite artists Rakim. Thanks to a mutual friend I was able to spend an hour back-stage with him. As rich as this moment was for me, at no point did I make the toxic mistake of pulling out the camera and turning the moment into an Instagram alert.

Instead I totally embraced the experience. Talking very little but observing and taking it all in. It was not only one of those cherished moments that I will always value, but I believe the exchange was mutually received as well.

The reality is social media is a brilliant innovation. When used effectively as a tool it can be an asset to network, build and market businesses, leverage as a platform for connections etc.

What it doesn’t do is replace the human need for face-to-face interaction with touch and smell.

I urge you all; forgo posting your life for a while and just experience it instead. Embrace mindfulness.

You don’t need a photo to create a memory. You don’t need others to believe it happened.


To create a more meaningful life, download the FREE Confident Mindset Inner Circle series today

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