Social media is like everyone having a TV show about themselves.
"Social media is like everyone having a TV show about themselves."
Sam: There's only one starring role. You. Your friends are the supporting act, the 'ft' you need to fulfil that facade you're trying to pull. Now now, we've all done it. Snap an image looking trendy, pop a filter and butter it with a one-word caption. Maybe a seedy moon emoji. Share as @sjagger? Share as ... someone you're not. Everyone's cherry-picking the moments to collate an online 'This is your life'. Except, it's not.
Celebrities do it, and in return their arses are sucked dry by the general public. It's a Regina George manifesto. If you're beautiful, or have paid for the lip fillers to plump up your monotonous personalty, then it's caught on. The poses too. I'm just waiting for some Z-list to use peppermint foot cream as face cream and we've officially entered the Mean Girls purgatory.
The lesson learned is that we all take pleasure from other people's personas, whether to snatch them or pick apart. We're recklessly squandering away time trying to showcase our lives, when we shouldn't be giving a toss about how much fun we look like we're having.
Nad: Because the fashion industry is more accessible to the public, and young girls with big Instagram followers have been scouted, we've created a warped idea in young girls' minds. That being said, if you alter yourself enough, if you gain enough followers and likes, then eventually you can have a slice of the pie without all the hard work.
We present our top two extreme, evident and increasingly irritating stereotypes.
The Grime Lie. Armed with camouflage, a black Nike cap and oversized T-shirt and talking like you grew up with Skepta in your yard, your Instagram profile is convincing. Convincingly tw***sh. Your captions probably consist of 'skeen' 'gass' 'lit' 'skrt' and 'bless'. Your feed will most definitely contain a snap of you crouching with a bottle of spirits and maybe some notes which have probably been collected from a group of friends to create the rich illusion. You could pass for a skateboarder at times but you have zero skills in the kick flipping department despite the thrasher tee that we all know is a lie.
Example TWO. 'I'm model, inbox me'. No you're not, your mate is a snap-happy photographer who just filling out his portfolio. Don't get me wrong, from interning with magazines and trying to clamber my way up a never-ending fashion ladder by helping mates out, yes I have succumbed to being shot for people's portfolios. However, not for a minute have I coined the term 'model' in my bio or captioned #model. Then there's the model pose. Propping your leg to the side like a flamingo whilst you take a selfie in the mirror, crotch first. Don't forget your Vetements/UNIF attire that you shout out for, claiming a care package when you've sat on your savings account for time.
Sam: That being said, I know I can't talk. I'm a sucker for a scroll. And whilst we're sat here, Nads is sat next to me deleting ferociously all signs of narcissistic selfies. You can't put a filter on your personality or expect that perfect selfie to protect you from pissing behind a bush on a night out. Let's be honest, that won't make the cut will it.
"It means people become super narcissists, only that every post is for instant gratification."
Photographer Scarlett Carlos Clarke has a brilliant insight into body dysmorphia and the social media slip.
"If you know who you are as a person, and you’re just doing it because of your art, then that’s a different thing. But if you are really getting heavily involved in it emotionally, you need to take a step back and reassess who you are. If it’s all just a massive lie, and you’re taking it seriously."
Nads: Instagram is a vital vessel for business to transport their product/service to the perfect audience. With young people spending more time on social media, and less time on the high street, it's new way to gain customers. In this sense, social media is crucial to catching up with the development of the industry.
Sam: Artists and curators can use themselves to provide persona, manifesting a moodboard on their Instagram. What worries me though is that we obsess over the person, and less about the art. I wonder how many artists would still be famous if we stripped the selfies? I suppose that's a matter of opinion though, as lines are blurred between photographers, bloggers, artists and models. It's bloody carnage.
At the end of the day, this is the world we live in. With the creative industries now harnessing social media for financial gain, it's no wonder we're sucked into this fantasy. When you're 120 and your face looks like a battered sandal, you're not gonna be sat reminiscing about how good that Valencia filter was, or how cute you looked with bug eyes and vomiting rainbows. Put the iPhone down and go for a pint, warts and all.