Realer Than Real: How Social Media Is Evolving

The Real World
The Real World

Social media has evolved from edited real life to raw real life, from filtered photos on Instagram to in the moment videos on Snapchat. But there are more subtle changes happening as well.

Instagram is where you go to catch the highlights, the best scenes from someone’s journey. People used to over-filter their photos to make everything appear beautiful. Today, most users prefer to keep their images unfiltered or slightly retouched. Not only does it feel more authentic but #nofilter photos also get the most likes.

Teens are also using Instagram as a live-journal, elaborating on their pictures to give them more context. Blogging is becoming popular again.

While Snapchat projects reality, it too contains elements of staging. I’ve seen people, myself included, do at lest least 3-4 different takes until they get that video selfie just right. So there’s still an element of perfectionism in Snapchat too.

Snapchat and Instagram are popular social networks because they complement reality and fulfill the desire to share. Everyone wants to be heard and feel important. Determining which app to use though depends on the story you want to tell. Projecting a little bit of edited reality while still making the content appear raw seems to be the aim.

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