More than Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform, Instagram is particularly known for reflecting only the best parts of an individual’s life. With a stream of posts that primarily highlights images, the pressure to share captivating photos has ingrained itself within the app. This expectation to only deliver content that is “insta worthy” is further exacerbated for those that pursue social media full-time.
On Tik Tok (which has blown up as a more casual platform), influencers and travel bloggers have made a trend out of revealing the stories behind their Instagram posts. Popularizing the hashtag “#truthbehindIG,” Instagram users discuss how they sometimes staged, edited or underwent hilarious measures, all for a photo.
One such influencer is @jera.bean:
Jera describes this image, saying that: “There was torrential downpour and I wanted this really epic rain-shot. (…) OH MY GOD THIS RAIN WAS SO COLD!! I was shivering. There was water going up my nose. I couldn’t open my eyes. Not to mention, this water isn’t even the rain… its water rushing out of a drain pipe!”
She goes on to share how she made an add for a wine company.
“So with this photo here, I have this really long noodle coming into the camera. But, it was actually FOUR noodles connected into one long noodle. We had to tape them together and the noodles were really slippery. It was hanging on by a thread and then I just had to photoshop the black tape out”
“Anything for the gram”
Similarly, @jacimariesmith explains the backstory of her travel blogging posts.
She recounts putting a comforter and a pillow on a thin window sill. She wanted it to look as if the room was set up to have a bed right there. But in reality, she nearly fell into the Venice canals trying to balance on the ledge.
For this photo, which has acquired over 31,000 likes, Jaci describes having to “haul a suitcase all around paris” to carry her outfit changes.
And, in case anyone is wondering why their travel photos never look quite as good as the ones they see on Instagram, Jaci’s extensive effort (for each photo) clarifies the situation.
She remembers that on this hike, she brought the outfit in a backpack with her and “changed into that in the middle of the forest or jungle to take that photo”.
Another influencer, @gabifuller, adds to the trend with her own anecdotes.
Gabi kicks off her Tik Tok video by explaining: “This is the day after my ex boyfriend broke up with me and I did nothing but cry for 48 hours straight… and I decided that i wanted to feel like a baddie so I put on makeup and faked a smile”
And, in another video she describes: “this was in Venice and I paid pretty much $100 dollars for the gondola ride because I needed a picture for this. But, at the end of the day the experience was a 10/10”.
Sharing the stories behind their seemingly perfect feeds, these influencers are beginning to dispel the mythologized depiction of their lives that exists on Instagram. While users can certainly curate the way their life is represented on any app, Tik Tok is creating somewhat of a less staged and more genuine version of social media.