If you all watch my Instagram stories, then you may have heard me talking during the first few days of January about story filters. I decided I was going to go ‘filter free’ on my stories. You all were into the idea based on your pole responses (well, almost all of you) and since then, I’ve gotten some questions about story filters and why I’m going filter free in 2019.
WHY GO FILTER FREE
Social media can really play a toll on us. While it’s amazing tool where we get so much inspiration and connection, sometimes it can be hard to figure out what is real and what isn’t. As many of you all know, I studied Psychology in college and graduate school and still work full time in the field of Psychology. I am so interested in so many different aspects of the field and call myself a Psych nerd, because I am always looking to learn more. I’ve been looking a lot into how social media affects us and what has really intrigued me is how it’s so hard to tell what is what.
The Instagram feed has become so curated and planned out as Instagram has evolved into such an important tool for brands and businesses. Most people can recognize that you enhanced the colors on your photo on Instagram or that you may have shot an outfit just to showcase it on your feed. Other times, it’s so hard to tell what is real and what isn’t and unless it’s totally clear, I find it to be a little unfair to the person on the other side.
Where I think people, including myself, have had the most trouble is stories. They were made to give people a more in the moment and real perspective. It’s so hard to tell if someone really looks like that, or if it’s a filter they are using to enhance their appearance. Comparison is the thief of joy and we can’t always compare ourselves to an enhanced version of someone else.
For me, stories are a place to keep it real and share the behind the scenes and every day things with you all that I don’t necessarily create a full blog post around or turn into a whole Instagram feed post.
I’ve decided to go filter free for a few reasons I’ll talk more about. I believe that we are unsure of what is real or not and unless it’s clear, that’s a little unfair to the person on the other side.Comparison is the thief of joy and we can’t always compare ourselves to an enhanced version of someone else. For me, stories are a place to keep it real and share the behind the scenes and every day things with you all that I don’t necessarily create a full blog post around or turn into a whole Instagram feed post. I’m talking more about each of these reasons and explaining myself a bit more below.
COMPARISON IS THE THIEF
I don’t want you all to ever be confused about what I really look like. I signed up to showcase myself on the Internet when I started a blog and part of that has become in the moment Instagram stories. If I’m recording a story and I happen to have on no makeup, or be sick, or be wearing my glasses, or have my hair up in a not-so-cute messy bun, then oh well. We ALL have those moments. Have you ever flipped through one of those magazines and seen the ‘Celebs without Makeup’ section or looked up models who take some digitials bare faced? We all look different with and without makeup or on good days and bad.
Comparison is the thief of joy and when you’re comparing yourself to the best version, and the filtered version of someone else, it only makes it worse. I found myself seeing stories of girls and think ‘omgosh her skin is perfect!’ I’d look into what her skincare and makeup routine were and look into using some of it myself. Then, I would see or meet these people in real life at different blogger events and think they didn’t really look that way.
I’ve definitely been there and relied on the pretty filters, too. I also love good, natural light and try to find it as much as the next girl. I just got to a point where I wouldn’t feel as pretty when I wasn’t using one of the pretty filters. I found myself using it more and more because I felt like I had to in order to measure up or to look as flawless as I saw so many other women looking. I consider myself lucky because I do get the opportunity to see and meet some of these women IRL (in real life). Each woman is beautiful in her own way regardless of lighting, filters, and so much more. There are days that we all need a little help. I personally just don’t want to be comparing myself to anyone, let alone a version of someone on Instagram stories who has on makeup, found the perfect light, AND used a pretty filter.
KEEPIN’ IT REAL
I don’t want you all to be looking at my stories and thinking ‘wow, her skin looks great. Is that real or is that a filter?’ It makes it challenging when we’re talking about makeup and skincare products and then you can’t ever really tell if I’m using a ‘pretty’ filter or not. A lot of people say, myself included, that Snapchat has better filters. They legit have filters that make you look flawless. The thing is, you can’t easily tell when someone is using it. I want it to be clear on my stories that what you see is what you get. I have a more curated Instagram feed, but my stories is the place where I am keepin’ it real.
CLARIFICATION OF ‘FILTER FREE’
I wanted to clarify what ‘filter free’ means for me. For me, that means on my stories. I think you all probably know that I edit the coloring on my photos for Instagram and for my blog. This help keeps my vibe and brand consistent and gives my photos their own unique look. I will continue to edit my photos for my Instagram feed and for my blog. Where I will not be using filters is on Instagram stories.
It’s not so much an issue with the funny filters or the dog filter (unless you are one of those people who legit use it in EVERY story), but more with the ones that make everyone look airbrushed or perfect. There are so many ‘pretty’ filters now that you can’t tell when someone is using one or not. We all try to find good lighting and our best angles for photos and I think that is expected. To me, what is unexpected is someone ‘hopping on stories’ in the middle of a hectic day and talking to their followers with a basically airbrushed face. Or being home sick and looking near perfect.
FILTER FREE CHALLENGE
I’d love to encourage you all to join in on having a filter free 2019. Even if you do a few stories here and there that are filter free and just show the real, beautiful you then that is great and it is change in the right direction. I’m all about small changes and progress not perfection. We may all continue to find the light and work the right angles, but at least we won’t have an airbrushed filter on top of that making us look like I have perfect skin or whatever when we just don’t. We are all imperfect and that is what makes us uniquely beautiful in our own way. If you do some filter-free stories, please tag me in them! I’d love to see you all engaging in the realness with me.
I’d also love to know what you all think about this. Do you agree and think it’s a good effort towards being more real? Do you not care that people are constantly using filters on stories to enhance there appearance and it’s unclear? Do you like everything to be more real including someone’s Instagram feed? Chime in! DM me, e-mail me, or comment below. XO