This is not about the power of social media. You would have to be living under a rock, likely happily so, to be unaware of the role social media plays into our everyday lives. In fact, even when you are completely aware of its impact, you likely still aren't aware of exactly HOW much. As established as the notion of social media is in our society, it is still a new and unpredictable medium that is prone to ebbs and flows, as well as the rapid growth of trends.
One of those trends that has been grown at an incredible pace and has arguably changed the way we use & view social media, is the content shift to a more realistic, transparent peek into polished perception that platforms like Instagram make it so easy to achieve.
As with any changes to social media platforms, it's usually quickly attacked (since it's likely we all JUST got used to a new feature) and just as quickly embraced. This is exactly what happened when Instagram Stories were introduced. Many saw it as one more thing to have to update and something none of us needed. Fast-forward just a few months and BOOM. Instagram Stories has taken over as the most popular feature on the platform. And why is this? In my opinion, it's part of the pendulum swing.
A side effect of rapid growth (or any growth, really) is that at some point, the bubble bursts. In the fast-paced world that social media has created, these bubbles pop at an alarming rate. The reason everyone fell in love with social media in the first place was the ability share authentic content and be connected to brands in a way that demanded transparency from them. As platforms became more sophisticated, everyone got incredibly clever and the content followed suit. Brands could launch full campaigns on social media. Influencers, who were originally embraced as the alternative to polished models in magazines, became celebrities that represented the secretly unattainable. Instagram became a glorified Pinterest board, confusing our sense of reality.
And then that bubble burst with the introduction of Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. You might still be able to throw a filter over it, but what you see on Instagram Stories is primarily undoctored. You see the polished content in your feed and then the behind-the-scenes in your live videos. That balance is a beautiful thing. It is a reminder that the people and accounts we follow all work really hard to deliver content that APPEARS to be perfect. It has helped to hold influencers and brands accountable. It has helped the consumers see a reality that only makes the polished content more authentic.
What will happen next? It's up for grabs and I can't wait to see what it is. #InstagramVsReality