The Great No.1 De­bate ........................

Dar­ren Mcconachie, a Stu­dent from Glas­gow, says yes and that it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber to en­gage with the real peo­ple around us...

No. 1 Magazine - - NEWS -

Re­mem­ber that just be­cause some­one has a 100,000 likes, it doesn’t mean they are liv­ing their best life...

In­sta­gram, the largest of all photo shar­ing sites, has seen a surge in pop­u­lar­ity over the last 10 years and now boasts over 800 mil­lion users. Whilst this is no doubt fan­tas­tic for the com­pany now owed by Face­book, how is it af­fect­ing you or I as we scroll down our feeds? For me there is ab­so­lutely no doubt that In­sta­gram is warp­ing our sense of re­al­ity. First things first, I will openly ad­mit to us­ing and en­joy­ing the app, but if I’m hon­est what is the pri­mary rea­son for me post­ing on it? As with many other In­sta­gram users, it seems the an­swer is to show off. Your friend may not have posted any­thing for a cou­ple of months but you can guar­an­tee that when they head off on their sum­mer break, the ‘Gram will be heav­ing with new pic­tures of par­adise. How­ever, what about the psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fect of this? Your friend is busy post­ing pic­tures and is prob­a­bly sit­ting check­ing her phone hop­ing to gar­ner enough likes - not sound­ing like a great sum­mer get­away now, who wants stress on their hol­i­days? Not me. Over 52 mil­lion pic­tures are posted daily on In­sta­gram and although there is some whole­some stuff in there, the vast amount of it will be edited and cut down to within an inch of the orig­i­nal. Friends of mine say how they wished they could look like a cer­tain celebrity on In­sta­gram when even the celebrity doesn’t re­ally look like that. This is where the ma­jor is­sue comes in; In­sta­gram has started to warp our sense of re­al­ity. Be it Kelly Brook ad­mit­ting on Loose Women that she does use other apps to trim her hips and smooth her skin or Gemma Collins pre­tend­ing to have a pri­vate jet pick her up un­til a quick Google search shows oth­er­wise. A re­cent BBC Panorama doc­u­men­tary dis­closed that chil­dren in the UK now spend over 19 hours a week on their phones. Do you think that when a 14 year old is on In­sta­gram they un­der­stand that the peo­ple post­ing are edit­ing the

pic­tures or that the ‘In­sta­gram fa­mous’ peo­ple are act­ing for their sto­ries? A bet­ter ques­tion – do you want your chil­dren grow­ing up to think that this is the real world and your pop­u­lar­ity and im­por­tance mat­ters more be­cause of a num­ber on a screen and not the per­son you are in real life? Adults are just as af­fected by In­sta­gram as teens can be though. How of­ten have you been out for din­ner with your friends and as soon as the food ar­rives, out come the phones look­ing to cap­ture the money shot?. Peo­ple have al­ways been in­flu­enced by some­thing and, in this day and age, it seems to be so­cial me­dia. How­ever, I think it is im­por­tant to heed the warn­ings and re­alise that those around you are truly more im­por­tant that what is on a screen. Sure, post your pic­tures but maybe ev­ery so of­ten re­mem­ber to tell your­self that just be­cause some­one has a 100,000 likes, it doesn’t mean they are truly liv­ing their best life. Af­ter all, In­sta­gram is a win­dow into what oth­ers let you see of their life and no­body is keen to broad­cast the ac­tual real-life is­sues that keep them awake at night. They usu­ally save those con­ver­sa­tions for their real friends over cof­fee. So the next time your barista hands you the nicely pat­terned latte, don’t reach for your phone to take a pic­ture for In­sta­gram. In­stead, look up and speak to the per­son stand­ing in front of you. Trust me, you’ll en­joy it.

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