Through the filter: Is Instagram taking over our lives?

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As Katie Piper has shared her first wedding dress photo and model Stina Sanders has lost thousands of followers for posting her unfiltered beauty regime, we take a look at whether Instagram is taking over our everyday lives. Is it time to put the phones down and step away from Instagram?

I would think that most of us follow some type of celebrity, blogger or a talented person on Instagram with thousands of followers who, let’s face it, we are jealous of. Whether it’s the way they always seem to have perfect lighting for their photos, or the way they’ve perfected their selfies, some people just have natural talents when it comes to posting photos and getting likes.

Former Social Media Lecturer, Diane Green thinks that: “the amount of time younger audiences spend on it [social media] is increasingly excessive. I read something last week that suggested many young people now looked at their phones on a daily basis – well in excess of 350 times.”

I feel like if I post a photo and it manages to reach 11 or more likes, it’s been a successful post and I can revel in the fact that my photo was appreciated by some people who follow me. For others however, this comes way more easily and if they were to get anything under 11 likes, it would be surprising.

We spoke to Joella Senior, a 20-year-old beautician from Loughborough, who currently has 1525 followers on Instagram, and uses the app to explore her creativity.

“I’m active on other social media like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, but I’m particularly drawn to Instagram as I see it as a bit of an escape,” Joella explains. “I use it for so much inspiration on things like fashion and beauty. I run my own beauty therapy business so I love following trends and such on nails, colours and textures.”

As well as posting photos of her outfits, food and selfies, Joella also shares photos that inspire her. When asked if she takes photo inspiration from bloggers on Instagram, she said: “a lot of photos are very similar on Instagram, and some people see that as copying, but I see it as admiring, taking things and making them personal to you.”

So how much does the app mean to Joella?

“As sad as it sounds, yes I would say it affects my everyday life,” she admits. “If I’m making dinner, I now always make it look nice on my plate. It also makes me appreciate little things more that I probably would have before, things like cute tea cups, pretty leaves, food and jewellery! My boyfriend always tells me off for stopping and taking pictures of lots of stuff.”

Missing London 💭

A photo posted by Joella Senior (@joellagracee) on

So, how to get the perfect photo for Instagram? Joella reveals her tips:

1. I always take pictures of things I’m interested in personally, otherwise I don’t see the point in trying to impress people with pictures that don’t interest you.

2. I’d say never worry about a post being popular or not! And when it comes to editing, the simpler the better I think. Some people have themes, which look amazing but take a lot of effort.

3. Take pictures in good lighting. If I’m posting images of products or new items, I’ll take them against the same background – my white bedroom or marble dressing table. It looks fresher and the subject of the picture stands out more. And it all links nicely on my feed. Seeing as I’m a perfectionist, this makes me happy if my page looks pretty and well organised.

4. Just because someone hasn’t ‘double tapped’ your photograph, doesn’t mean it’s not a lovely photo or significant to you. After all you could be deleting a memory that one day you’ll look back on and smile at!

Instagram can be a fun app to share photos with your friends and browse amazing images, but don’t get yourself bogged down with caring too much about your followers or likes. Just enjoy it!

You can follow Joella on her Instagram @joellagracee and Fashion North @fashion_north

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