Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Instagram Face and the Joy of Missing Out || Guest Post

It’s that time of year where everyone appears to be super happy and living their best life; at least they are if social media is anything to go on. That is the thing though isn’t it? How honest is social media? Especially, in this age of filters, Photoshop and hiding behind comments. Are they really having the most fun at a party or are people just sat on their phones sharing the fact that they are at a party? Actually, is anyone having as much fun in real life as they say that they are on-line and whilst we are at it, is that even their own face?! 
Detail in the Data 

Recent research performed on 18-25 year olds found that 64 percent of the 1,000 young people surveyed admitted they have created an “online persona” - a different version of themselves on social media. 

In fact, three-quarters of them stated that they believed that having an online “them” is an integral part of modern life. Yowzzers. Scary when you think about it...literally living two lives. It gets even more interesting; nearly one in five (19 percent) say they only post pictures that show them in a positive light, while 16 percent insists the online them is more confident and 12 percent say the social media version of themselves is more attractive. Those are scary numbers when you begin to consider its impact on modern day life, and even our own. 

In recent news, “Instagram face” as it has come to be known is a subject that appears to be getting stronger than ever, with it seeping over into the non-digital world with an increase in plastic surgeons being asked by patients to be made to look like their Instagram image, and huge growth in the sales of Botox and fillers. 

In response, Instagram and other social channels have banned the use of plastic surgery filters and apps.

The Rise of the Instagram Face 

In an article for the BBC 'I tried 'Instagram face' for a week and here’s what happened...' journalist Alexandra Jones discusses the impact on her of trialling the Instagram face in her everyday life and this particular quote really hit home:

“The next day I am groggy and annoyed but successful. Each day I manage to whittle down the time it takes me to recreate it [Instagram face] until I manage to squeeze it in to 45 minutes. But, I also have to reapply (mainly blush and concealer) throughout the day. In the office my colleague, Vicky, turns to me: “I keep forgetting this is an experiment and seeing you fully made-up in the morning is making me feel like really anxious. I feel like I need to make more effort.”

The “feel the need to make more effort” is something that has really been impacting mine and my friend's mental health of late. Especially when we start to break it down and think about who exactly we need we feel the need to make the effort for, and in fact why do we need to make the effort at all? Even Instagram is taking its impact on mental health seriously these days with their recent ban on weight loss products and removing of filters which promote plastic surgery. They are even removing likes to help combat the rise of the Influencer. 

The Joy of Missing Out Movement 

It’s information like the above which has made me decide that 2020 is going to be my year of #JOMO. The JOMO, or “joy of missing out movement,” has been snowballing throughout 2019 and it appears to be getting stronger in 2020. The beauty of the movement is that it's all about self-care and not having to be everything for everyone. Basically, it’s the anti-FOMO which is something that social media seems to create the moment you begin to scroll. 

If you’re curious, websites such as experience JOMO  have been created to offer daily tips on how to take everyday steps in losing the pressure of FOMO. GiffGaff have even created a JOMO generator  - which offers great ideas on how to action JOMO in your day to day life with very little effort. As well as Psychology Today covering it in an in depth article, making for great further reading. 

So what about you, are you going to par-take in some JOMO for 2020? If so, let us know below and continue the conversation on our social channels. 

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