A stroll through the two social media platforms has me convinced that the millennials do deserve some of the stick they get after all, writes Paula Burns
A couple of months back I decided to take my fashion blog out of hibernation. When I first started the blog seven years ago blogging was in its infancy. There was no such thing as Snapchat or Instagram and the term ‘social influencer’ hadn’t been invented yet.
This time round, however, the blogosphere had entered a domain saturated by the constant feeds of the social media platforms. I had already delved into Instagram. What with its allure of pretty pictures and funky filters allowing any novice to create a stunning image with just the click of a few buttons it was easy to succumb.
Snapchat had always been on the periphery of my social media conquests. It was something teenagers did. It terrified me but if I was going to make a go of this blogging malarkey I needed to conquer the fear. Firstly, setting up my Snapchat did anything but alleviate said fear. It’s not easy.
Albert Einstein once said, “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”.
This is the embodiment of Snapchat. Snapchat is where millennials go to prove to the world just how narcissistic they really are. I have been on the fence when it comes to the backlash given to millennials and have wondered is it just their age. We were all guilty of being self-obsessed in our 20s. But my venture into Snapchat has confirmed that generation’s sense of entitlement.
Snapchat is a constant feed of nothing. Most of us lead pretty normal generic lives. We get up have our breakfast, wash, go to work or get the kids ready for their day, etc. It is agreeable that this is the boring part of life that wouldn’t grasp your attention if it were on a TV show.
I have watched Snapchat feeds of an American blogger in her 20s who in one snap is showing us the details of a package (my nosiness likes this) to the next snap saying the reason she had been off grid for a few days was because she had an abortion. Just as blasé as that. She then proceeded to justify her reasons for talking about it, which in turn was another need for validity. Yes, these topics need to be discussed but choosing the right platform and treating such a sensitive subject with the delicacy it deserves should be paramount. The sensitive approach is often by-passed for the need of giving TMI.
Others seem to use it as a place to just moan. One Irish blogger who in particular likes to speak against the grain constantly finds she receives backlash for her comments. Which sometimes is deserved, yet she never seems to think so. That’s the other thing about millennials; they can give the criticism but they find it very hard to take. Everything is personal. They fail to realise that exposing so much of your life on the internet will inevitably bring the ugly to the fore.
This is why after a ten-minute scroll through the grime of Snapchat I take welcome relief in the prettiness of Instagram.
Last year Instagram introduced Insta Stories, their own version of Snapchat. Luckily Insta Stories has carried on in the same vein of the Instagram feed. It is filled with attractive images, short stories of the lovely things in life.
Of course Instagram isn’t devoid of criticism. The relentless images of avocado and egg breakfasts or flat lays — a favourite amongst bloggers, can be monotonous. Just like all social media there is a certain need for validation but it doesn’t scream as needy as Snapchat. There is something up lifting and positive about Instagram. This is probably because the images cultivated on the feed are there for the aesthetics. Instagram is like looking at the world through rose tinted glasses, only its through filters with names like Willow.
It is the social network created for escapism that is badly needed. It’s nice to disappear for a few minutes a day and to allow the mind wonder through a carousel of pleasing images. What makes Instagram stand out is the story behind the image.
There is no limit to the text used with each image and so you can be brought even further into the story. This almost three-dimensional attribute of Instagram gives authenticity. Something I think Snapchat is certainly lacking in.
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